Patience Needed as Disaster Strikes

Even though we did not agree, the Government told us we had to use the old bore hole. As you may remember, we were waiting on the certification report from the Government so we could begin plumbing in the old bore hole for Mwachilele School. To get the certification, the Government needed to be certain that the bore hole could actually supply the water needed. They contracted with the drilling people to test the bore hole by putting in a submersible pump and letting it run. The hole is over 55 meters (about 165 feet, a very deep well even by US standards).

Victor standing in front of the Girl's Bathroom where we want the water to come out. This was over a year ago!

Victor standing in front of the Girl’s Bathroom where we want the water to come out. This was over a year ago!

So they dropped in a submersible pump and let it run. The water came up just fine, so it was decided the bore hole met the standards. Then disaster struck. The pump became plugged with mud. And then it got stuck.

So the driller sent down another pump to get rid of the water in order to free pump #1. Disaster, yet again. Pump #2 became stuck in the mud. After some review, the driller and the government came to the conclusion that the casing was too narrow, and so we would need to removed it and put in new casing. As the Government Official was explaining this to Victor, he then asked why not just drill another well.

This is, of course, what we wanted to do in the first place. But we were stopped by the Government who said we had to use the old bore hole. Now, after sticking two pumps down a 165 foot bore hole, they are suggesting that we drill a new bore hole, which is where we started 6 months ago. Victor agreed as politely as possible. Then he asked who was going to pay for the two lost pumps. The Government Official said he would have to find out.

So that is where we find ourselves today. If we had been allowed to drill the first hole, we would have had water to the school 5 months ago. Instead we have 2 lost pumps, 5 lost months, and no water.

Zambia requires a lot of patience.

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