Conclusion of Ang Chak High School Well Project – Cambodia
This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Bruce Kelsey. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.
The project was to drill a hand-pump well at the school.
This project has been a perfect storm of everything that can delay drilling a well… But, we finally got it complete for Christmas!
First, in September the rains finally came. Normally they come in June, but this year they were really late – everyone was afraid that we wouldn’t get them at all and would be left without a rice crop. Fortunately, they did come, but that meant that all the workers in the district stopped their other jobs (like drilling wells) and went to plant rice for three weeks.
Then, we thought we were ready to start drilling, but the contractor we had hired decided he wanted more money than he had quoted us. We had to search for another well-drilling crew that was willing to work within our budget…and lost another week and a half.
We finally got everything squared away with the contractor, and he scheduled us for the following week. Once drilling started, it went quickly and smoothly. The drilling was completed in a day and the casing and pump were installed the next day.
Unfortunately, we had made the decision to buy a rebuilt pump so we could afford to buy a superior model. When we tried to pump water, only a small trickle came up. On investigation, it was found that the O-ring was destroyed. Getting a new O-ring required a special trip to Phnom Penh, as they don’t stock parts for this brand of pump in Kampot. Nearly a week went by while we waited for the O-ring, and then when we re-installed everything, we still only got a trickle of water. On further inspection, it was found that the PVC well liner had a burr on its interior and had destroyed both O-rings. The liner was removed and de-burred. Another O-ring was obtained from Phnom Penh. Everything was re-installed, and the pump worked fantastically!
That lasted about two days, and then the well stopped working completely. We waited and waited for the contractor to return and work on the well. He finally came back and discovered the well liner had become disconnected. He replaced the defective piece, and the well works great now. We poured a concrete slab around the pump mount and are now in business.
This well is in almost constant use right now, as the dry season has set in after a very short rainy season. Other water sources that are normally used this time of year (ponds, cisterns, etc.) are already depleted, and both the school and the nearby villagers are relying on the new pump to supplement their water supply.
Thanks so much for your help and the funding to make this project a reality!
We are grateful to Bruce for completing this project, his fourth in partnership with Water Charity. We again wish to thank the Elmo Foundation for providing the funding, and Bruce’s friends and family for providing additional funds for future projects in Cambodia.