Four years of hard planning and negotiating, careful fund raising whilst juggling to keep other projects alive have all come to fruition over the Christmas period in 2018. Water has always been the most urgent need in the area where water arrived by donkey in 20 litre containers, often contaminated from open, hand dug wells where anything could fall in and decompose. This focussed our minds since we first arrived at the Kikunduku Schools Project (KSP) in 1994. We saw the target figures needed for wells as almost unattainable in the early days. But as we brought in more and more support, mainly from outside the UK but also from our main supporter Shiplake College who have done so much over the years to make a real difference in the area, the possibility of achieving the sinking of bore holes came tangibly close.
The end of 2017 saw us commission a hydrological survey at Kyaani and Utithi schools complexes, this prepared us with enough confidence to take the next step and enter into more positive discussions with the UK charity – WellBoring – who specialise in the sinking of wells in Africa. It seemed prudent to use a trusted charity with the experience and contacts needed to take our dream further.
Eventually we reached our target figure to give WellBoring the green light and an opportunity came our way in mid December 2019 and drilling started on December 23rd. The next day they moved to Kyaani where they drilled to 100 metres, hit granite and failed to hit water. On Christmas day they drilled at Nzouni and struck water. Both viable wells will only need a hand pump, this saves us a lot of money meaning we can have a fresh survey done at Kyaani where the Drillers are sure they can find water with a new drilling site. Watch this space!
They two wells successfully sunk will mean clean, fresh drinking water to over 4,000 people – now that’s a success! We need to thank Cox Mill Elementary School in North Carolina who inspired this project and devoted all their raised funds to it. We also need to say a special thank you to Rheingauschule near Frankfurt for their incredible support and for sustaining all our other projects in the area whilst Gap-Africa was focussing on the well sinking project. We are proud to have this international working together under the Gap-Africa ‘umbrella’. More news on this later in the month.