Tanzania Update

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Another Tanzania Update!

The EWB group had a very productive meeting with leaders from Mapenduzi A and B on Friday. The team learned through these discussions that the temporary water supply system has been reliable, although the cost of fuel for the generator is a concern for the village. Also, there is a desire to extend service to the far reaches of Map A (distribution points 7 and 8) which is currently suspended because of damaged piping in this reach of the system. It was agreed that EWB would continue to help the village work towards the installation of a larger pump but in the meantime, we will assist with planning repairs and optimization of the existing system.

Saturday was spent in Muktani, where villagers are collecting water directly from the river. We learned that the villagers are not in favor of shallow wells. Through past experience, these wells have been salty and have caused gastrointestinal problems. Therefore it was agreed that a drilled borehole would be preferred. After the meetings, the team made a visit to an existing borehole (the “2008 borehole”) which had been reported by the villagers to have observable static water level and which EWB had made plans to conduct pump testing from. However, we observed that the borehole was dry. Another borehole location will need to be selected. The team also conducted water quality sampling from the river and from the roof catchment storage systems from the dispensary. As expected, the river water was found to be very unsafe with a very high concentration of E.coli (> 100 cfu/100 mL) but the dispensary water was negative. EWB should plan to work aggressively in Muktani with the objective of conducting a borehole location project. We also met briefly with the school master, and there are needs for our services regarding the school buildings as well.

On Sunday the team met with Augustino Rakehatz who provided a tour of the Chololo Ecovillage Project, funded by the EU. This project consists of prototype technologies such as solar-powered well pumping, treatment and ground storage of roof catchment water, and a sand dam that was installed in the Muktani River. The sand dam is essentially a concrete wall installed to bedrock and extended to a height near the normal river water elevation creating a back-water pool, which is then able to store water in the sandy river bed for when the river flows are low. An underdrain beneath the back-water area collects and then conveys water to a sump manhole equipe with a hand pump for users to obtain water. According to Augustino, the dam itself has a suspected breach at the concrete and bedrock interface. The solar driven well pump has been very effective, reduce the cost of pumping significantly. It’s use id heavily relied upon during the dry season. During the wet season, the catchment system has also performed very well. We learned that the catchment system first contains a sand filter for removal of solids, followed by storage in the underground tank, and finally a calcium hypochlorite dosing point in the final tank for disinfection. Overall, the project provides an example of feasible and sustainable technologies for our consideration on future projects.

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