Drilling in Kampala started

 re-posted from:t-group.science

There are three urban areas in which T-GroUP is active and, while most of the drilling activities in Dodowa and Arusha have been completed, in Kampala it took some time to get permissions. At first, the Ministry of Water and Environment had to formally approve the project drilling activities, which they did. Then, the Kampala Capital City Authority required more information about the project before giving their formal go-ahead. Thirdly, the Local Councils had to be convinced of the usefulness of the work, and, finally, land owners and tenants had to approve of the installation of piezometers on their land for monitoring purposes. It took Dr. Robinah Kulabako and Dr. Philip Nyenje a good deal of energy to take all hurdles. But they finally succeeded! The process also served as a good and thorough entrance of the project into the local communities. On Wednesday April 6, PAT Drill Uganda started drilling the first hole near Makerere University towards the top of Makerere hill. While drilling, the team was visited by David MacDonald and Dan Lapworth of BGS, who were in Kampala in the framework of the HyCRISTAL project within the NERC/DFID funded Future Climate for Africa Programme.

John Okwi (left, with hat), the owner of PAT-DRILL Uganda, is supervising his team of drillers using a PAT-301 to drill through the weathered basement near the top of Makerere hill
John Okwi (left, with hat), the owner of PAT-DRILL Uganda, is supervising his team of drillers using a PAT-301 to drill through the weathered basement near the top of Makerere hill
A selfi at one of the drilling locations with David MacDonald, Jan Willem Foppen, Dan Lapworth and Philip Nyenje (from left to right).
A selfi at one of the drilling locations with David MacDonald, Jan Willem Foppen, Dan Lapworth and Philip Nyenje (from left to right).

How to get permission to drill in Kampala?

from t-group.science

Meanwhile in Kampala, Dr. Philip Nyenje and Dr. Robinah Kulabako had gone to request permission to drill at the Church premises on Makerere Hill going down to Bwaise slum. Permission was required in order to be able to install a transect of piezometers between Makerere Hill, the perceived groundwater recharge area, and Bwaise slum, the groundwater discharge area. After introducing T-GroUP, they had good discussions with the Vicar of the church regarding the project, community mobilisation and other ideas in the field of water supply. Then, the Vicar requested Philip and Robinah to formalise their request in writing and deliver to him the letter. Additionally, he also requested Robinah to be a Guest Speaker during Mary’s day at his church. Robinah was happy to take up this challenge, as she regarded it not only to be an opportunity to strengthen and augment collaboration within the project and between the project and the community, but giving a sermon would also contribute to shaping Robinah spiritually.

The sermon was on “Living Wisely” based on Ephesians 5:15-17. Robinah really enjoyed it and she was happy to do the needful, combine religion with science, and get permission to drill.

The magic and mystery of groundwater data

To be effective, drinking water programmes relying on groundwater need good quality and well managed groundwater data. Unfortunately this is an overlooked, “techy domain”. The presentations and discussants on this webinar explain the typical problems of groundwater data collection, management and use. They draw on first hand examples of: groundwater data use in Uganda and the United Kingdom; groundwater databases in 15 African countries (Benin, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Zambia) and work on transboundary aquifers in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana) followed by of the current realities in Mozambique. There is need for training, quality assurance of data, and for groundwater data collection to become part of drilling contract management.
Presentations and reflections from Lawrence Brown from Hafren Water (UK), Helen Bonsor of the British Geological Survey – BGS (UK), Fabio Fussi of the University of Milano Bicocca, Italy and Andreas Antoniou of the International Groundwater Centre – IGRAC (the Netherlands). Reflections from Brighid O Dochartaigh, British Geological Survey – BGS (UK) and Samo Chirindja Farisse – Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique).

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Pour être efficients, les programmes d’approvisionnement en eau potable ayant recours aux eaux souterraines ont besoin de données sur les eaux souterraines de bonne qualité et bien gérées. Malheureusement il s’agit d’un domaine jugé trop technique et souvent négligé. Lors de ce webinar les présentateurs et commentateurs mettent en exergue les problèmes typiques concernant la collecte, la gestion et l’utilisation des données sur les eaux souterraines. Ils se basent sur des exemples personnels : utilisation des données des eaux souterraines en Ouganda et au Royaume Uni ; bases de données sur l’eau souterraine dans 15 pays africains (Bénin, Burundi, République Centrafricaine, Tchad, Guinée, Côte d’Ivoire, Libéria, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritanie, Niger, Sénégal, Sierra Leone, Togo et Zambie). Il y a des besoins en formation, en assurance qualité des données et en ce qui concerne la collecte des données sur les eaux souterraines la nécessité de devenir partie du contrat de forage.
Présentations et réflexions de Lawrence Brown de “Hafren Water” (UK), Helen Bonsor du “British Geological Survey” – BGS (UK), Fabio Fussi de l’Université de Milano Bicocca, Italie et Andreas Antoniou du Centre International sur les Eaux Souterraines – IGRAC (Pays-Bas). Commentaires de Brighid O Dochartaigh, “British Geological Survey” – BGS (UK).

Stop the Rot – helps us stop the scandal of pump corrosion

This week RWSN/UPGro hosted a webinar on:

      • Overcoming the Rural Water Supply Scandal of Handpump Corrosion (RWSN) – Recording (English)
      • Dépasser le scandale de la corrosion des pompes manuelles dans l’approvisionnement rural en eau (RWSN) – Recording (French)

The key points are:

  • handpump corrosion has been known about for 30 years,
  • it is avoidable
  • yet every day, well-meaning organisations are funding or installing the wrong pumps, poor quality pumps or making false savings by not having independent drilling and installation supervision.
  • This can leave water users a usable without safe water within 6 months.

In this webinar, Bony Etti and Jacinta Nekesa from WaterAid Uganda describe their shocking findings from investigating boreholes and pumps (in partnership with  Mitzi Erin Brett, a MSc student from Mercer University and linked to the UPGro Hidden Crisis catalyst study) some of which have failed or become unusable within 6 months of being installed.

Jake Carpenter, a consultant and former Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda describes the history, theory and practice of corrosion issues and provides practical solutions for resolving the issue.

Our discussants, Dr Peter Harvey (UNICEF) and Jess MacArthur (iDE) add their comments on why this avoidable problem is still around and in a lively Q&A session, some positive ways forward are discussed.

Although the examples in the presentation are from Uganda, we know that this problem is happening in at least 25 countries in Africa and Asia and many more.

If you would like more information to help inform and influence either your own organisation or those that you know of that are still installing inappropriate materials, then please let us know.

Overcoming the Rural Water Supply Scandal of Handpump Corrosion

Handpump corrosion has been known about for over 30 years, the fact that it is a common problem in over 25 countries is a scandal and reflects badly on donors, implementers and governments.
In this webinar, Bony Etti and Jacinta Nekesa from WaterAid Uganda describe their shocking findings from investigating boreholes and pumps (as part of the UPGro Hidden Crisis study) some of which have failed or become unusable within 6 months of being installed. Jake Carpenter, a consultant and former Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda describes the history, theory and practice of corrosion issues and provides practical solutions for resolving the issue. Our discussants, Dr Peter Harvey (UNICEF) and Jess MacArthur (iDE) add their comments on why this avoidable problem is still around and in a lively Q&A session, some positive ways forward are discussed.

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Le secteur est au courant depuis plus de trente ans des problèmes de corrosion des pompes manuelles. Il est scandaleux que ce problème soit encore récurrent dans plus de 25 pays, et cela nuit à la réputation des financeurs, des chefs de projets et des gouvernements.
Dans ce wébinaire, Bony Etti et Jacinta Nekesa de WaterAid Ouganda présentent les résultats choquants de leur évaluation de forages et de pompes (dans le cadre de l’étude UPGro Hidden Crisis) dont certains sont tombées en panne ou ne sont plus utilisables 6 mois seulement après leur installation. Jake Carpenter, consultant et ancien bénévole des Peace Corps en Ouganda, reprend lui l’histoire, la théorie et les aspects techniques des problèmes de corrosion en général, et propose des solutions simples et pratiques pour les résoudre. Dans la session Questions/Réponses les participants discutent de ces alternatives à mettre en place pour améliorer la situation.
Dans la version anglaise du wébinaire deux intervenants, Dr Peter Harvey (UNICEF) et Jess MacArthur (iDE), apportent aussi des précisions sur les raisons pour lesquelles ce problème pourtant évitable continue d’exister.

T-GRoUP kicks off

By Thloriso Morienyane and Jan Willem Foppen (reposted from: t-group.science)

From 1-3 September, the T-GroUP kick off workshop took place at UNESCO-IHE in Delft. The main purpose of the workshop was to get to know each other, to learn more about Transition Management and Learning Alliances, to discuss data collection programs, to identify overlaps and differences between the three focal areas in Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania, and to detail individual year plans of each team member.

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Part of the team listening to the workshop introduction by Jan Willem Foppen

Transition Management and Learning Alliances

Continue reading T-GRoUP kicks off

Hidden Crisis: Borehole failure highlighted in Uganda Sector Performance Report

The UPGro Hidden Crisis project, led by Prof. Alan MacDonald at BGS, has already made an impact in its first study country – Uganda. Each year, the Ministry of Water and Environment coordinates a Joint Sector Review (JSR) and produces a Sector Performance Report (SPR) which reports on progress in the water and environment sectors and identifies the priorities head.

The 2014 report picked up on the work in the Catalyst phase and the further investigations by WaterAid into the problem of high iron levels in borehole water – largely due to inappropriate pump and pipe materials. The installation of cast iron or galvanised iron materials in acidic groundwater (ph <6.5) is largely preventable but all too common in many areas of the world. It leads to premature failure of the pump and makes the water unpalatable, or even unusable.

Box 12.5 in the 2014 Sector Performance Report (SPR) - click to download report from MWE website
Box 12.5 in the 2014 Sector Performance Report (SPR) – click to download report from MWE website

Understanding why waterpoints fail

By Vincent Casey, Technical Support Manager, and Richard Carter.  (originally posted on the WaterAid website)

From the Catalyst Project: “A hidden crisis? Strengthening the evidence base on the sustainability of rural groundwater services

“Every year, over 30,000 boreholes fitted with handpumps are installed in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. All will break down at some point. Some will be repaired and return to service. Others will not be fixed and will fall out of use. All will eventually need to be replaced.

Up to a third of the waterpoints in Sub-Saharan Africa are out of service at any given time, according to estimates by the Rural Water Supply Network. This doesn’t mean that they can’t repaired, just that they were out of use when surveyed. Breakdown and repair are normal for any facilities, but if they are not repaired, this has a big impact on users and becomes problematic.

Boreholes and handpumps stop working for a variety of different reasons. Some issues can be resolved quickly and easily but others will condemn a water point to a possible untimely demise. Causes of failure can be grouped into three overall categories.

Continue reading Understanding why waterpoints fail