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Pump test – tick!

December 15, 2011

La Chica was very excited to welcome Maji Tech to Longido to do a pump test of the World Bank borehole in Altapesi subvillage. La Chica and Testigo’s country manager Emanuel waited by the police point on the main Arusha-Nairobi road to meet the Maji Tech team carrying over 150 metres of tubing and equipment to allow them to carry out a test of the borehole. Picking up the District and Subvillage Chairmen en route, they drove down the dusty dirt roads of Longido, past Acacia trees, termite mounds and herds of cows and goats protected by young Masai boys to the metal capped borehole. The Maji Tech team cut off the metal cap, and after assembling the tube and attachments they started pushing the tube down the borehole. They arranged the open end of the tube over a nearby termite mound (La Chica was hoping that any meercats living in the termite hill had already taken refuge, otherwise they’d have an unexpected wash or drowning!). The first surprise was that the borehole was only 70 metres deep – the incomplete completion report stated that the borehole was 120 metres deep. The second surprise was the quantity of water that flowed once the generator powered pump was activated – a whopping 3000 litres an hour – La Chica was ecstatic! However this was shortlived when 45 minutes later the pump ran dry. A few adjustments to the pump pressure showed a later reading of 400 litres an hour. La Chica is eagerly awaiting a report from Maji Tech explaining the findings and the recommended action. Will Testigo be able to put in a windmill, a solar pump, or a hand pump? The third surprise was that the water was ‘dirty’ – the Maji Tech team said that the borehole hadn’t been cleaned, and they expected the extra expense of cleaning it to be up to US$8,000.

La Chica was very touched when three small Masai children walked to the termite mound and the tube outlet with empty water containers. The children aged between 4 and 7 had somehow found out on the bush telegraph that there was running water. Unfortunately the water was very dirty with sediment from the bottom of the borehole, so the children found themselves playing in the water instead of bringing clean water back home to their boma.

Maji Tech doing the pump test

The long day ended just as the sun was setting, with the Maji Tech team reversing the process, extracting the tube from the borehole and re-soldering the metal cap back on the borehole casing. La Chica is hopeful that the borehole can be utilised, and that the people of Altapesi village will be able to access potable water shortly.


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One Comment
  1. David permalink

    Have you considered building a solar powered distillation unit near the bore. Providing someone keeps the still topped up with water there should be perfectly clean drinking water available at all times.

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