Friday, August 26, 2005

Well Drilling School

Welcome to well drilling school. Ivo (pictured with Vanessa and Isaiah) found out about Terry Waller's well drilling technique from an internet search and came all the way from Cameroon, Africa to learn how to drill wells so he could return to his rural community and provide water for his family and community. This method of drilling wells is just as efficient but about 10 times less expensive than any other popular "low-tech" method. It is becoming well known in the development community and many people are contacting us to receive training in this method. After the well drilling class, Ivo became stranded in Santa Cruz with travel permit problems so we hosted him in our home for several days while he waited for things to get sorted out. We enjoyed his humor and polite personality and hearing about life in Cameroon.

The following week I spent four days in the community of San Lorenzo, accompanying Terry on another well drilling class. Gary (in the gray hat and sun glasses) came from Texas to learn the technique. Gary hopes to teach volunteer teams the method in the U.S. so they can travel to other places around the world to teach local people the method. When communities provide their own labor they can dig a well and put in a hand pump, all with locally available materials, for about $2 a meter (or $100 for a 50 meter well). The man in the red hat is Carlos, a Colombian who is living in Bolivia. He wants to learn how to drill wells so he can help bring water to several communities in the mountains east of Santa Cruz. It is much harder to be sure of hitting water in the mountains, but Carlos is optimistic and wants to give it a shot.


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