Project Report From Uganda Well Project
The project undertaken was designed to bring water to a community which has begun relocating back from the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps in northern Uganda. Since the insurgency ended, hundreds of thousands of people are relocating back to villages which had been destroyed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
LRA according to Wikipedia:
The group was formed in 1987 and is engaged in an armed rebellion against the Ugandan government in what is now one of Africa’s longest-running conflicts. It is led by Joseph Kony, who proclaims himself the “spokesperson” of God and a spirit medium, primarily of the Holy Spirit, which the Acholi believe can represent itself in many manifestations. The group adheres to a syncretistic lend of Christianity, Mysticism, traditional religion, and witchcraft, and claims to be establishing a theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments and Acholi tradition. The LRA is accused of widespread human rights violations, including murder, abduction, mutilation, sexual enslavement of women and children, and forcing children to participate in hostilities. The LRA operates mainly in northern Uganda, but also in parts of Sudan and DR Congo. The LRA is currently proscribed as a terrorist organization by the United States.
The town of Dibolyec is situated 10 KM from the main road between Padibe and the border of Sudan. According to local leaders, there are already 8000 people situated there and the community is expecting another 2000 to relocate in the next three months.
Before our project began, there was only one borehole (deep water well) in place serviced by a hand pump. The well is situated over 1.5 kilometers from the local school and represented the only clean water source for the community.
The land surrounding the community is arid and hilly. There is a natural water source (a creek) within 2 kilometers, but during the dry season, it dries up completely except for 2 spots. The water is contaminated with bacteria and parasites and serves as the source for the animals and people. During the dry season, people are not allowed to bathe or wash, to preserve water in creeks depression.
The well was enough to provide 0.18 liters per person per day. After installation of the second well, the output is now 0.36 liters per day per person. If you take UN minimum requirements, this is far below the 5 liter need.
While our project doubled the output of clean water for these people, there is still enough need for another 30 deep water wells— just for drinking water for the entire sub-county.
In this same community, the school and health center are both without water. The nurses are complaining about the fact that women are giving birth without sterilized water, and that every birth requires a four kilometer walk to collect 20 liters of water.
Funding came primarily from Sage Business Solutions and James Wilde. There are many individual donors who contributed as well (amounts ranging from $10 to $250). For privacy reasons, their names will not be listed here, but the contributions totaled near $3000.
The total expense of the project is estimated to be near $15,000. Primary expenses include drilling ($9000), logistics ($3000), labor ($1000), and other.
Report on drilling, spill plate construction, yield and sustainability
On February 11th, one week after arrival, drilling actually began in another sub-county where the need is even greater. Initial delays were due to previous drilling projects and the late arrival of our transport. The team (Aqua Drill Tech) drilled at the first location for two days. After 90 meters of drilling and two small water strikes, the hole was deemed dry.
I hurried back to Kitgum to speak to the District Water Officer and Hydrologist about getting a new location by the morning. After some 30 minutes of intense conversation, we were granted a new drilling location in Dibolyec.
At 8:00 AM on Saturday, February 13th, the trucks rolled out of Kitgum. We began drilling at 10:00 approximately. By 12:00 noon, we had our first serious water strike at 25 meters down. The team began assembling the PVC pipe as they were sure the hole would yield water. By 14:00 drilling had finished at a little more than 40 meters; the chief driller had deemed the yield to look adequate.
Within one hour all drilling rods had been extracted from the borehole and the PVC put in place. Gravel and sand were poured around the PVC to seal and naturally filter down to the level where the bit diameter changed.
The final step was the pump hose, which was inserted in the middle of the PVC to the bottom of the well. It was then attached to the compressor and the water was blown out for over an hour as we celebrated the success.
On the next day, pump testing took place (also completed by Aqua Drill Tech). The yield was 600 Liters per hour on average over a 3 hour test pumping period. The recovery rate 55 minutes after pumping was 95%. This is deemed a good hole and very sustainable. 12 hours of pumping per day with no wasted water or time would mean 7200 liters per day (enough to bring water to 1440 people- using UN minimum standards).
Casting and construction of the spill plate was completed on the 17th, and the pump was functioning when we left the site in Kitgum— completed by employees of the District Water Office and contractors for Aqua Drill Tech.
Diagrams and video documentation will follow.