Making Water Accessible…Feb. 6, 2012

This is the well used by Jose's family before our project began.



It’s funny how many things we tend to take for granted – like running water for instance! Jose’s family has a well located about 20 feet from the house. When there is water in the well (it often runs dry) they use a rope to lower a five gallon bucket, fill it with water, then pull it up by hand and carry it to wherever they need it for laundry, bathing and cooking. Keep in mind that five gallons of water weighs a little more than 40 pounds. That’s a fair amount of weight to pull up with a rope, especially for Antonia, a 60 year old grandmother.

One of the projects on our list this for this mission week was to devise a way to make this water more accessible. This project was assigned to Roger, our engineer, who accepted it with enthusiasm.

Roger created a plan to help Jose's family improve their access to water.

Roger became determined to find the best ways to bring water up from the well. A hand pump similar to one you might find on a typical farm years ago seemed to be the best answer. After measuring the depth of the well and obtaining the appropriate length of pipe, fittings and fasteners, we attached the pump to 15 feet of pipe and mounted the pump at the top of the well.

Antonia is pleased with the new pump.

The family was extremely excited at the thought of getting water more easily. Antonia immediately asked other family members to retrieve some of the ripe coconuts growing on their trees. Minutes later, we were enjoying fresh coconut water straight from the shell as a thank you from the family.

The next project to be done is to devise a method to capture rainwater off the rooftops to provide a second source of water to be used by this family. — Larry

Julie and Roger enjoy the "fruits of their labor."

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