This month, Bwiza is getting a new well, thanks to the hard work of the villagers and the wonderful technical support and effort of volunteer Robb Lowy from Spokane, Washington USA and the UJAMA organization there .
The well project started in July 2008 with mapping and survey work and the design of a surface well improvement that would protect the fragile water supply and make it easier for people to fill their jerry cans with water. By July 2009, under the direction of volunteers John Mellott and John Didicher from Atlanta, Georgia USA, a hand-dug well was completed. At a depth of about 8 feet, it proved that water was present even at the height of the dry season. Located down hill from the spring from which villagers currently collect water, it was a great beginning.
This month, Robb returned to Bwiza and continued the next phase of construction. He and the men dug a new surface well slightly downhill from the one dug in July, which will be converted into a cistern to improve water-holding capacity during the dry season.
Then, rocks and dirt were sifted through a wire screen to prepare uniform gravel to surround the well intake.
Next, the pieces had to be assembled and a conduit run to the location downhill for a water collection and storage tank.
Rocks were carefully laid over the conduit and finally steps could be taken to connect the storage tank. The men of the village worked hard and enthusiastically to complete the first steps.
The work is still going on but soon we will see the results and Bwiza can celebrate another huge improvement in the daily life of everyone.