Shallow Wells


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The construction of three protected shallow wells by a Peace Corps Malawi Environment volunteer

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Shallow Wells

  1. 1. Shallow Wells A cost effective community-based solution to clean water Nkhotakota, Malawi Kirk Longstein, PCV 2009
  2. 2. <ul><li>The villages located along the Dwambazi forest boundary have an advantage to vast customary lands for agriculture use, fresh fish daily from the lake and a protected forested area to supply fuel wood. Unfortunately, the inconvenient topography contributes a major inhibiting factor to access clean water. A combination of poor agriculture practices and latrine sanitation has contributed to a staggering number of people susceptible to and reporting waterborne illness. More frequently, water is drawn from several small perennial streams flowing along the watershed close to homestead areas. In addition to perennial streams, open wells have been dug in wetlands and low lying areas acting as collection points. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Partnerships in development An important role for positive solutions <ul><li>Collaboration with Malawian health surveying assistants (HSA) was the key component to community entry and the initiation of several participatory meeting with the acting village health committees. </li></ul><ul><li>The aim of our initial meetings were to hear the ideas across community demographics. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The group discussions represented ideas from different age groups, gender groups, and covering several homestead areas and estates within the catchment’s area. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The communities committed to working together with partner organizations and solving their complaints for clean water . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There were three discussed solutions to the areas’ water problems. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Drilled boreholes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water harvesting tanks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protected shallow wells </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The proposed cost effective way forward as expressed by community members were the development of three protected shallow wells, in addition to an improved waterborne diseases education curriculum at the primary school. </li></ul><ul><li>These proposed solutions were aimed to be in addition to the continued sanitation awareness campaign and improved latrine construction by other acting NGO partners. </li></ul><ul><li>The project aimed to be sustainable by facilitating the organizational structure of the committee, the empowerment roles of community members and continued civic education of youth. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Creating a plan and working forward <ul><li>The water problems discussed by the committee have related to distance and quality. The protected shallow wells were planned to address these issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Creating work plans and time tables helped our group to stay on task. We met twice a month at the same time and place. </li></ul><ul><li>By not hiring an outside contractor and enable local community members to perform the work, an element of future ownership and management of the water point has been created. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Starting the work <ul><li>The wells constructed were a masonry style using the local materials provided by the community; fired bricks, river sand and quarry stone </li></ul><ul><li>Day 1: Start with the digging of the well. The initial survey to find an appropriate site takes into consideration vegetative hydrology, achieving a well dept, free of run off contaminates and an appropriate distance to homestead area . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The well depth goal was 4-6 meters and starting masonry construction at 1-2 meters below the water level in the dry season. We reached 4.5m. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diameter of the well dug depends on soil conditions that you are working with. Our well diameters were 1 meter. With two sites, we worked with Clay/Sand soils and had little problems with erosion. 1 site held silt/sand soils which made our well diameter larger (1.5m) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenges and solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Digging below the water table. </li></ul><ul><li>using the pump that will be mounted at the end would be an ideal solution but slows the work. If money can be budgeted a generated water pump makes your work easier. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Masonry Construction <ul><li>Day 2: Once the desired well dept is achieved, a sediment sump was dug in the middle and filled with 2-4” quarry stone. The sump is 2’ deep and once filled with smaller quarry the entire bottom of the well is lined with larger stone. A flat surface is created with the larger stones and will act as a base for the first brick work. </li></ul><ul><li>The brick is laid in an overlapping star formation starting 1’-1.5’ from the side wall of the well. </li></ul><ul><li>Cement was mixed at a ratio of 1-4 (cement-sand) to ensure a structurally secure base at the point were water pressure will be greatest and entering the well. Quarry/cement mixtures were laid along the sides to also add to a structural base. </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges and Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Water moves fast while you work </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure that your builders have a clear idea of the brick style that will be laid. </li></ul><ul><li>Cement curing under water </li></ul><ul><li>this is not a problem but the builder needs to be sure that the cement is not drifting from its desired location. </li></ul><ul><li>**cement needs to stay out of the middle of the well, this will be the entry point of water. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Finishing cement Work <ul><li>At ground level we created a floor for drainage and to prevent future water damage. The soils that we were working with were highly erosive. Under the cement floor we made sure to provide proper drainage with crushed quarry and sand. </li></ul><ul><li>At this point we also made the cement cover which holds the mounted Malda pump and acts as a preventive cover from sediments and debris. </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges and Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>A solid finish </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuring a level finish is hard with local materials. Make sure to use a level to create the final drainage pitch desired. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure the team continues to pour water of the final cement work to ensure a strong finishing job. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Setting the Pump <ul><li>The pump chosen was a hand powered Malda pump. </li></ul><ul><li>We wanted to find a pump solution that would be easy for the community to use. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adjusting the pipe in the future if water table shifts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Replacing parts from aging wear and tear. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Our pump options that we looked at were Afridev and Malda. In the end Malda was chosen because of easy assembly and plastic pieces, making modifications easier. </li></ul><ul><li>MALDA Direct Action Hand Pump </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  9. 9. Clean Water <ul><li>In the end clean water was achieved through the continued dedication of the community members and local host country extension workers. Shallow wells are labor intensive but are a cost effective and appropriate infrastructure for rural areas struggling with clean water. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Shallow Well Budget: Prices reflect Nkhotatkota, Malawi Market $1,033.80 146,800.00   107,800 39,000       Total $21.13 3,000.00     3,000.00       Future management fund ( will be saved for future repairs) $35.21 5,000.00 5,000   5,000       Contractor oversight (NGO Partner) $95.07 13,500.00     13,500 13,500     Day Labor ( 3 Persons / 5 Days) $28.17 4,000.00     4,000 4,000     Transport $17.61 2,500.00     2,500 2,500     Water for mixing cement $7.04 1,000.00     1,000 1,000     Sand $56.34 8,000.00     8,000 8,000     Fired Bricks $14.08 2,000.00     2,000 2,000     Quarry stone $2.82 400.00   400     1 400 Solvent cement $119.72 17,000.00   17,000     1 17,000 Mesh wire $408.45 58,000.00   58,000     1 58,000 Malda Hand Pump $228.17 32,400.00   32,400     12 2,700 Cement Total Cost in USD Equivalent Total Cost in MK Paid by Third Party (MK) Paid by SPA (MK) Paid by Community (MK) Value of Community &quot;In Kind&quot; Contribution (MK) Number of items Unit Price (MK) Item