Working in the Villages

I (Ryan) got the opportunity to go to a village with our supervisor and a co-worker. We were visiting a village about 50 kilometers away. Our company has already worked with this village and given them the necessary pipe for a gravity fed drinking water system. When doing these projects our company provides the pipe and makes sure that the system will work, but they do all the installation as a village. This encourages the village to take ownership of the project!

walking in village

walking in village

We made a trip back to the village today to ensure they followed through and installed it how we had planned (to make sure it will still work). When we arrived we met with some of the men in the village. Many warm welcomes were given to our workers returning. We followed one of the village leaders around as he showed us where the spring source was, how it was being fed to the pipe, and then walked us along the pipe for a few kilometers. During the walk he showed us the tap stands where the drinking water was accessed and explained how individual houses could install their own personal tap stands if they had the funds. A few factors still need to be addressed, however the project seems to be coming along great!

man showing homemade ram pump

man showing homemade ram pump

As we finished checking out the pipe our supervisor began discussing our other project types, specifically the ram pump project, to see if there was any interest in building some in this village. As he was explaining it, one of the villagers told us he had already built one after hearing about them in another village and researching it on his own via YouTube! He offered to show it to us, so we agreed to follow him to his house. It had all of the components that our pumps have and looked like it should work well when installed. He explained that his only problem was that he does not have the finances to buy the rest of the pipe himself to feed it. This seems to be a great open door because, as mentioned earlier, that’s exactly what we can provide! After showing us the pump, he showed us where he planned to install it.

Walking through this village we did not stop hearing “thank yous” for the work we were doing. We are excited that this village is following the plans and are hopeful for opportunities to continue partnering with them in the future, possibly with a ram-pump project.

Eric and I (Bryan) went with one of our supervisors to survey a potential gravity-fed drinking water project. The village would like pipe installed to transport clean drinking water from a local spring to various locations in the village. Our company is willing to provide the materials needed, evaluate the route, and ensure that the system will provide an adequate supply of water to the village. Upon arriving we met a village leader who led us on a short hike to the current damaged reservoir system. We took rough measurements of the flow rate using a tarp, stop watch, and bucket of a known volume.

eric measuring flow

Eric measuring flow

Eric took one for the team and stood in the river to hold the bucket while it was being filled. We then proceeded to walk the entire course of the proposed route with our GPS. The GPS plays a vital role in these projects as it provides us both the elevation and distance measurements that will later be used to evaluate the pressure and flow possible in a pipe. The villagers that accompanied us are always friendly and hospitable, often insisting on feeding us after we’ve finished for the day. When we travel to work in these villages, our hope is to provide drinking water or irrigation systems to ease burdens in their village as much as possible. We hope that our visit will lead to an executable project and continued relationship with these people.

Bryan at spring

Bryan at spring