Volunteer Projects

The Southwest Kenya Village Drill

GWI partners with the Rift Valley Resource Centre to implement the Southwest Kenya Village Drill Project in Nandi County, Kenya.

The need for water in Nandi County is dire: government stats indicated that less than 30% of the population has ready access to clean water.

In looking at options for contributing in Kenya, our Team heard about the hand-operated Village Drill. This drill was designed by engineers at Brigham Young University, to install drilled wells in remote and challenging areas.

We saw that the Village Drill was a good fit for installing low cost wells in some parts of Nandi County. And, fortunately, one of the manufacturing sites is in Mombasa, Kenya.

 The funds to purchase the drill were solicited from generous companies and individuals  known to our Team.

The goal is to install wells at locations that can provide ongoing maintenance of the well and hand pump, such as schools, medical centres, churches and mosques.

Fund-raising for individual wells is done by schools or other groups in Canada. And we try to hook up the donors with the recipients via skype, so they can see first hand how the wells impact the local community.

The Southwest Kenya Village Drill project is operated as a small business that generates income for up to 6 Kenyan workers. Our Team helped to drill the first well and a local crew was trained, with the aid of a trainer from Mombasa (thanks, Nicholas).

So far 8 wells have been drilled.  The goal is to find more locations with appropriate hydrogeology and recipients, and to keep drilling!

Here is Mark and John. John has been working on non-water related outreach projects in Kenya for several years.
John Carson (head of the Rift Valley Resource Centre) and Mark King, getting ready to start drilling the first well.

 

Here are students that are pen and skype pals with Paulette O'Connors Grade 3 class at Saint Joseph's A. Paulette's class was able to raised funds for a well at this school in Kenya.
A well was drilled at a primary school (Sokkin Academy) with funds raised by Paulette O’Connors Grade 3 class at St. Joseph’s Mackay School in the north end of Halifax, NS. The schools have kept in contact, with skype calls and letters.

 

The drill that is used was designed by engineers at Brigham Young University. All of the materials for the drill we purchased in Kenya. This makes it so nothing has to go through customs.
The drill arrives and is assembled.  The entire apparatus can be transported in a pick-up truck.

 

The drill is a simple manual-powered machine. This makes it easy to maintain. All materials for the drill can be found inside Kenya.
The central feature of the drill is the bearing wheel. A drive assembly is placed on the bearing wheel, and manual power is applied to spin the drill.

 

The Village Drill project is operated as a small business that generates income for up to 6 Kenyan workers.
Bentonite is mixed with water, for use as drilling mud.  It is circulated down the drill stem from sumps dug behind the drill.

 

But there will always be some hiccups.
The scene after the pump seal let go and sprayed everyone with bentonite mud.

 

The drill is rotated manually by 3 or 4 workers at a time.
Kids are fascinated by the drilling process.

 

And everyone takes a turn.
In fact, everyone is interested in the process, and eager to take a turn spinning the drill.

 

Here is Nicholas making the final touches to the well screen. Nicholas helped trained a local crew how to use the drill.
Nicholas (the Village Drill trainer from Mombasa) cutting slots in plastic pipe, to be used as well screen.

 

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Nicholas directing the installation of well screen and casing.  

 

Meeting with Minister Chumo of the Department of Lands, Environment and Natural Resources, to discuss a Memo of Understanding between the Department and the drill group.
Meeting with Minister Chumo of the Department of Lands, Environment and Natural Resources, to discuss a Memo of Understanding between the Department and the drill group.

 

First well is completed! There have been a 7 more wells drilled!
Dr. Chumo visits the site of first completed well.

 

Draft MOU.
Draft MOU.

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Draft MOU.