I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get back with the borehole information. Back in June we tried to drill a borehole but unfortunately it was unsuccessful. We drilled 200 feet into the ground but only hit a small pocket of water. This small aquifer wasn’t going to be able to provide water year round. The installers said that the borehole would run dry during the dry season and would only work periodically during the rainy season, depending on how frequently it would be used.
This is really hard news to hear for myself and the village, but after a small meeting the village decided that they would rather not install a borehole that wouldn’t be able to work year round.
That isn’t the end of the story though.
The company in charge of installing the borehole charges a rate of 60% for unsuccessful borehole drilling, since the main bulk of the work goes into the drilling. That said we have a remaining 40% of the originally borehole request of 5,100 which leaves us with 2,040 dollars to work with. After a discussion with the village we decided that we should do something else with the rest of the money, rather than ask for more to try to drill another borehole that could fail again. The community decided that we would build a rain catchment system for the primary school, thereby at least providing water for the school for half of the year.
Construction of this has begun and will be finished this week.
With the completion of the rain catchment system (cost is roughly $500-600) we still have a remaining balance. After another round of meetings it was decided that the rest of the money would be used to buy a new mill for the village. The current mill is owned by a village local who does not allow the women to mill peanuts or shea nuts at his mill because there is extra cleaning involved with milling those things. One of the main ingredients in soup here is peanut butter, made from milled peanuts. Also a main source of income for the women is making shea butter from ground, roasted, and milled shea nuts. The women are not able to add value to their product and are forced to either walk 6 miles (there and back carrying 50 pound loads on their heads) to have their products milled or just to sell it in their raw forms.
Without this mill the women are being held back from being independent. They have asked for help with this project. Since the borehole wasn’t possible they asked if we could help “fill their bellies with food” instead. It seemed like a reasonable request.
I was extremely saddened by the failed borehole but some good can still come from it. I hope that these are acceptable side projects for the left over money to be used. The village was very sad that the borehole didn’t work out and they said that we needed to thank the friends in America for trying to help and that maybe later down the road another chance will come.
Please if you have any questions just email me, Diana.firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictures are to follow as soon as I can get reliable internet.