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Well Construction

Imagine the impact made on a village with no local water source when people donate time and money to dig  a well for their families.  The average number of people using each well is 500-1500.  Accurate population counts, as you can imagine are very difficult to ascertain in these remote areas.  In a country where 85% of the country does not have clean drinking water, people come from miles around to use the wells.  Slowly through prayer and some revivals villagers begin to convert to Christianity and now we can build small churches and in time schools to educate the people.  That is the long term plan.

The process for completing wells begins with Pastor Michelle determining the villages with the greatest need for water, then through prayer, determining where the most good can be done to spread Christianity. With a pick to chip away the dirt and a bucket to carry the dirt away the process begins.  Because of the hard ground and rock, only about 3-4 feet in depth can be dug daily.  As the digging goes deeper, a tree limb is supported on the ends by other tree limbs and a pulley is attached so that a bucket can be lowered to the digger to remove the dirt.  A stick the diameter of the well is twirled by the digger as he progresses down to make sure the well stays the exact same diameter all the way down to the water.  The wells are dug in the dry season December thru May so they can be as deep as possible.  If a lack of rain happens to dry up any of these wells, they are then dug deeper.  This type of well can easily last 20-30 years.  Once the digger has hit water he will continue to pull out as much dirt as possible for the greatest depth.  The normal diameter of these wells is 1.5 meters, or about 5 feet.  The depth of the wells this year ran from 39 to 225 feet( 4- 23 story building).  I can not imagine climbing in and out like a spider to this depth with no flashlights or electricity.  The villagers are thrilled to be paid for this work and by keeping the work done by the local people they take great care of the wells after completion.

The next step is to sleeve the inside of the well starting at the bottom.  In the beginning, we began with total concrete sleeves, but found that by having some brick molds manufactured and then making bricks from concrete gravel and sand, the interior walls could be completed at a much faster pace and the quality was not diminished.  Concrete could only be affixed a meter a day to allow drying time,  whereas bricks can be laid and cemented as long as you have daylight.  The bricks are laid to a height of one meter above the ground as shown in the pictures.

For the final step which is not shown in the picture, we will have metal caps manufactured and secured to the top of each well.  The top of these caps is like a lid hinged in the middle so that the sides can be lifted and multiple can the drop their containers attached to a rope down to obtain water.  This water is then used for drinking, cooking and bathing.

I can not begin to express the extent to which these wells have helped the daily lives of the families in Burkina, and could only have been possible with your help.  Your donations help to spare the lives of many and bring hope to people with so little.

This year we completed our 80th well.  If you can support this  in any way, it will be greatly appreciated.

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