Aug 2020

Hello ,

Goal achieved "Water for health centres".

We supplied water to 21 clinics in Eastern Province, which had no water and where we could reach groundwater. This means that almost all clinics in Eastern Province have water. Unfortunately, a number of clinics have been built in places where we and even heavy machinery cannot find groundwater. The only option for these centres is to collect rain water, but that can only be done in about four to five months' time. Until then, there will not be a drop of rain.

More and more corona infections are being detected, although it is still impossible to estimate the actual extent. In the meantime, Covid-19 patients have also been admitted in places that we have been able to supply with water with this project. The impact of your help is therefore priceless, not only for the patients but also for everyone living near the installed pumps. In recent months, 22,709 people have gained access to water thanks to your help. This means that the hospital can use water for its patients, staff and patients can wash their hands and people from the community can use water for their households and, of course, wash their hands more often, thus creating the main barrier to prevent Covid-19 contamination.

We are always amazed how quickly and professionally a group of enthusiastic small-scale entrepreneurs, such as the drillers we trained, can carry out such actions over a large area. Every health centre requires a different approach, there are no two comparable situations. The trained entrepreneurs are accustomed to unexpected problems and have the ability to deal with them within a certain budget.

The number of unexpected problems in this project was beyond everyone's expectations. But there is even some money left and with that we will provide a number of schools with access to water.

Normally we focus on pumps that are privately owned. A private pump serves an average of 55 people and is well maintained because ownership and therefore responsibility are clear and the owner uses water for income-generating activities, such as growing vegetables, keeping small livestock, making bricks etc. Moreover, people in rural areas often live far apart from each other, which means that there are not many users per water point.

In times of Covid-19, however, we felt compelled to temporarily let go of that criterion. By way of emergency aid, we placed pumps at hospitals. In this way we reached a lot of people, as the graph above shows. However, we know from experience that pumps that are not privately owned are generally poorly maintained. Our research showed that some pumps at hospitals had been broken for years because the water committee could not or did not want to maintain the pump. Often there are arguments about who is responsible. It is customary for pumps to become the property of "Water committees" or in this case "Health committees". That is a group of users from the community who are the official owners of the pump. These groups often work well in the beginning, it remains to be seen whether that will continue to be the case.

Anyway, the project has already prevented a lot of suffering.

Our thanks go to every individual donor

and small-scale entrepreneurs.


Making borehole siting machines

You can imagine that the equipment for borehole siting (Vertical Electric Sounding or VES) has been used intensively in recent months. Not only within our own province for the clinics, but even beyond on a two day drive from Lundazi, 10 sites have been measured. Borehole siting measurements can save a lot of money when you consider that it advises the client which drilling method fits best and therefore dry boreholes are generally avoided.

The equipment from the first hour began to show signs of wear and tear. Time to teach a few people how to make such devices themselves. Electrical soil testing is based on measuring electrical resistance and can fortunately be done with affordable locally available resources. The materials costs about € 300 including battery and cables.

Professional VES machines cost at least € 3000 and although they work faster and are easier to operate, the quality of the measurements is the same because they use the same technique.
Making VES-equipment
On our website you find two manuals: one describes how to build the equipment and the other how to use it. However, especially for the use of the equipment we recommend to follow a training course at the SMART Centre, because interpretation of the results in particular requires some experience.