Tanzania Update

In Dodoma again! Hurray! I had a hold-up on my journey from China, a missed connection in Guangzhou which meant I was stuck there for 24 hours. So I only had one day in Dar es Salaam instead of two, but in that day I managed to meet Arthur Karomba, the Windpower Serengeti guy who is now involved in a solar power company too, to visit the Tanzanian Industrial R&D Organization, and to meet Asimwe Ruganyoisa, a recent graduate with an interest in EWB who will join us here on Sunday and stay for a week, to help us.

Barbara, Rich and Bill arrived yesterday morning, having had a good journey, and we are expecting Kathryn to arrive later this morning. Our partner here so far has been Macmillan Kaaya, a friend of Semu’s who is standing in for Semu for a couple of days while Semu is away on a business trip. Actually, Macmillan will be with us for the whole of our stay here, so we will have two local people and interpreters: which will make things much easier in the villages where, after the initial meetings, we will want to split up and do various things simultaneously.

On Wednesday, Macmillan and I went to Kongwa, to meet Herbert Kijazi, the Water Engineer for the District, who has not been reachable, somehow, for a long time. It was worth the trip, it turns out, because he told us that the 2008 borehole, which the VEO (Village Executive Officer) in Mkutani told us had been capped, was in fact filled in once it was determined it was inadequate. He also said that the measured yield, 3,300 litres per hour, was not continuous: as they pumped at that rate, the level was going down. He doesn’t know the continuous yield, but thinks it would have been much less. At any rate, we can’t do the pumping test we had planned to do.

Yesterday, at Kalis Engineering, Mr. Franklin Bitaliho took the news that we were cancelling the pumping test with equanimity. It turned out that our e-mail communications with him about test-drilling been missing the mark: when we used the word ‘drilling’ he thought we meant large-diameter (enough to use as a well): he refers to making 70 mm holes, which is what we want to do, as ‘piloting’. Now that we understand each other, he has promised to find all the pieces necessary to do some piloting in Mkutani, and so we are hopeful that we will be able to do some next week. We will have to see how many places can be tested in the time available.

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