About Saatenga where clean water for everyone wasn’t available
Saatenga is a large village. There are about twelve districts – the French is “quartiers”. Some of these quartiers had boreholes fitted with handpumps. But not all quartiers did. We were told about one particular quartier where access to water was a real problem.
There are about 1000 people living in this quartier and there is a small primary school.
Water was available, but people had to pay for it. For people in rural villages, this is a heavy expense that they cannot afford. Even if they can afford it, they often had to wait up to two hours for their turn to use the pump. There was another well also available – but at that well there was often another two hour wait. In short, there was just not enough water for the number of people living there.
When this was brought to our attention, we decided to try to do something about it. Clean water for everyone is at the heart of our desire to help.
Here is what happened.
Wednesday October 21st
The surveyor had already visited the village and he had marked a spot on the ground where he recommended drilling. The drilling team arrived, set up and started to make progress through the various strata. The piles of dust samples (see below) show their progress every few metres. They continued drilling, even though it was beginning to get dark. After about 5 hours drilling, they struck water. Not just water, but huge amounts of water – 25 times the minimum requirement for a borehole to be viable and sustainable. 18,000 litres – nearly 4000 gallons – of water was available per hour.
Finding this much water set us a headache! God had provided a source of enough clean water for everyone at Saatenga. Normally, at this point, we would fit a handpump. But this would not make the best use of the available water. A hand pump could not possibly dispense more than about 600/700 litres an hour.
However, there is a good alternative in these circumstances. The best solution is to fit a solar powered pump and a water tower with a tank at the top. This will maintain a constant head of water which can feed taps in different places in the village. So, what is the headache?
It is expensive!
Asking for wisdom
Before spending more money, we needed advice.
We asked a lot of questions, prayed and took advice from trusted professionals in Burkina Faso. There are three sizes of tank available – 2,500, 5,000 and 10,000 litre tanks. There is a choice of material – plastic or metal. The advice was a metal tank as large as possible. Metal tanks last up to 50 years; plastic ones might not last longer than 10 years. A small tank will not make best use of the available water supply.
But the 10,000 litre metal tank is very expensive. Installing this would mean using money that, otherwise, would provide boreholes and hand pumps at two other villages.
A wonderful provision – clean water for everyone!
We continued to ponder, question and pray.
The morning of 5th November arrived – as did the morning post. In the post, there was a totally unexpected cheque which was the price of another well. The next day, the post arrived and in it there was another totally unexpected cheque for the price of another well. In two days, we had been given enough money to cover the cost of wells in the two villages whose wells would be have been taken away by our buying the water tower for Saatenga. This, we felt, was the answer to our prayers.
We asked Christine to place the order. Clean water for everyone at Saatenga came one step closer.
The tank arrives
It seems that 10,000 litre tanks are not “off the shelf”. We had to wait about 3 weeks, but the tank was duly delivered. It looked huge!
A tank this size needs a strong support. The tower itself took a few days to put in place but, in due course, the tank was sitting proudly at the top of its tower, still looking huge.
The technicians in Burkina Faso finished the rest of the work over the weekend of 19th December. There are now three taps connected, by pipework, to the water tower. They are sited in different quartiers of the village.
Clean water for everyone
The village chief/mayor is very happy. He is going to undertake studies to see if other quartiers can also be helped! It seems that there is now clean water for everyone at Saatenga.
There are now 187 wells in Burkina Faso which Myra’s Wells has drilled or repaired. Click on this link to see the full list. We continue to give glory to God for His wonderful blessing.