My worst fear on this project is, and I’m totally embarrassed to say but I will anyway, I’m totally scared of having to go pee in the bush. There are snakes and Hyenas and even though Moshi tells me that I do not need to worry, that they are more scared of me, I can’t help but fear the bush so I don’t drink any water during the day and then gulp back a litre when I get home at night. I am putting up a serious fight with mother nature and so far I am winning.
Today was a slow day. The drill bits (not sure what they are called) from the rig were removed and a casing is inserted to make the walls solid and keep them from collapsing. A hose is inserted and it is flushed out to clean the sand and silt from the casing. As the borehole gets used this will get cleaner and cleaner. People tasted the water and the general consensus is that it is good and not salty, which can potentially be a problem. Proper scientific testing will happen on Saturday.
The project engineer explained to the village how they need to take care of the hole for the next few days so they hired a watchman to protect it full time. Lerian tells me that it is the deepest one in the entire district.
I have nothing but respect for Lerian, project manager for Innovation: Africa and Moshi. They are constantly fielding questions and concerns and challenges from the community and the companies that we are working with. The process of building a well is slow and incremental so expectations from the community do not match with science sometimes and they both take the time, along with Haifa, the project engineer, to explain what is happening. They have built a nice trust within the community.
Lerian is so kind, funny but unbelievably strong. She understands when and how things need to be said to keep the project running smoothly and is expert in her knowledge of how to manage projects within communities.
Moshi is aware of every issue concerning the water project. Even though he is not a scientist he can talk you though, in detail, every aspect of building a well. You can’t get anything by him. He is also a strong leader within the village community who people come to with problems and he knows how to be tough and empathetic all at the same time.
I know I blog, probably too much, but the truth is that I do it more for myself so that I can look back on this time and remember these small details, these moments that I know will fade with time. I also hope that Innovation: Africa’s anonymous donor can read this and somehow feel a part of the process. I do not know them but somehow I can feel them here with us.
We will go back to the field on Saturday for the water testing to do proper tests to find out the yield of the water and bring it to a laboratory in Dodoma (I think) to analyze it. I am going to take a break for the next 2 days to clean my camera and try to rest. I basically hit the ground running in Tanzania and all of a sudden I feel it. There is a huge amount of work still to do, test the water, build the sim tank tower, dig the 10 km of trenches for the pipes and set up a maintenance program with the community.
It will be nice to take some time to mentally prepare for it.