Juli 2021

Hello ,

Meet the newest members of the Jacana team! In this newsletter we will introduce ourselves, you can read about our first impressions and wat we’re up to in Zambia.
Menno Jan is engineer and a real inventor. He has a passion for technology, but really enjoys helping people with his designs. In the Netherlands he has drilled more than 30 boreholes manually; he can’t wait to work on this in Zambia as well!
Janke is a veterinarian and has a passion for farmers and their animals. She loves almost everything that involves animals and nature, but really enjoys cows, sheep, goats and chickens. The past five years she enjoyed working with farmers in the Netherlands, now she’s really excited to work with Zambian farmers!

First impressions

We arrive in Petauke in July, in the beautiful Eastern Province. In this town we will start the third Jacana SMART Training Centre of Zambia, after Chipata and Lundazi. In the coming months we will select and train manual drillers, welders and people who can do borehole siting (VES) measurements, so they can be successful entrepreneurs. But at our plot in Petauke is no water yet, so we have to drill our own borehole. As assistants of Moses and Samuel we get to work.
First preparations: making a starter hole, use a hoe to dig sink pits and channels, search for clay for drilling liquid, get oil and fuel for the water pump and mainly collecting water. A lot of water is needed to drill a borehole: about 240 litres per day of drilling and for flushing and developing the borehole again almost 1000 litres.
After that, drilling can commence! For an impression of the method, see video below.
Tutorial manual drilling
Watch the instruction video

During drilling there is enough time to learn some Nyanja, do some bird watching and meet the neighbours, who are all eager to try a bit of drilling themselves. We are getting more and more respect for the drillers, because we are quite exhausted after a full day of drilling. But as we relax after a day of work, the local drillers shop for groceries, prepare for the next day and cook for us. Hard working people!

We learn to appreciate Zambian cuisine and eat nsima, all types of vegetables, kapenta (little fish) and also a local delicacy: mbewa. At some point during drilling we hear the masons cry enthusiastically: they found a hole of mice. When the mice leave the hole, a group of men tries very hard to catch them. They manage to get about 20; at least 20 others escaped. Samuel washes the mice, removes the intestines and cooks them in water for some hours. At dinner they are fried and served fully, including fur, tale and teeth.
After a full week of work we’ve got a borehole of 21 meters deep, with a lot of water. When the cement has cured for at least a week, we will install a rope pump and a solar pump.
But first we’re off to Chipata and Lundazi to meet our colleagues and to see what they are doing: drilling, monitoring boreholes, installing solar pumps, but also making compost and train farmers in agroforestry. Next week we’ll move to Petauke and really start working. We’ll keep you posted!

Menno Jan & Janke



At the new SMART Centre in Petauke we will soon start training drillers, welders and VES people. From January we will also start working with small scale farmers in the area. We are still looking for the final funds for year 1. We would be really happy if you could help us with that. You can make a donation here.



To start with, we are looking for a technical field officer. Together with the manager you will be responsible for logistics, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of water projects.
We are hiring
Are you living in Eastern province of Zambia preferably Petauke? Do you have technical experience, have a motorbike license, know how to use a computer and are motivated to work in a small team to serve fellow Zambians? Then study the vacancy announcement here and apply.
Only applications received via email will be evaluated and only sort listed applicates will be informed.

Hope to see you soon.


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