Conclusion of Central River Region Handpump and WASH Improvement Program – Phase 3 – The Gambia
This project has been successfully completed under the direction of RPCV Jeremy Mak, with the support of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association. All proposed well rehabilitations were completely quickly and smoothly.
To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.
In summary, 5 Bluepumps were installed and 2 Mark II pumps successfully rehabilitated, improving clean water access for a communal health center and 2 villages, and completely RESTORING clean water access for 2 additional villages. All 7 water points are now producing clean water for beneficiary communities.
In total, an estimated 2,800 women, children, and men have directly benefited from these pump works and will enjoy drastically better health outcomes. Indirectly, the more than 26 villages that rely on the District Health Center (patients from outside Dankunku District are often referred to this health center) also benefit.
In particular, we invite you to look at the videos of the works from Kalikajara village, where we chlorinated and sealed a once-open well and installed two new Bluepumps.
A short synopsis of the work done in each village is listed below, with links to videos.
SWE-GAM, a company based in Banjul, deployed to the Niaminas on two trips to install the handpumps. Water Charity paid for 4 Bluepumps, along with all installation costs and per diems for local Gambian support staff. SWE-GAM was generous enough to donate a 5th Bluepump. Leftover Mark II spare parts were available from the Gambia Lifewater Project’s 2013 and 2014 campaigns, leaving the handpump repair costs in Fula Kunda negligible.
150 people / 6 compounds
GPS: N 13 degrees 33.206′ W 015 degrees 15.706′
Date: April 8, 2015
Deliverable: Old German Mark II replaced by Bluepump
10 meters to water, 5.20 meters water column
Bluepump installation depth: 14 meters
200 people / 7 compounds
GPS: N 13 degrees 33.964′, W 015 degrees 19.835′
Date: April 8, 2015
Deliverable: Malfunctioning German Mark II replaced with Bluepump
8.3 meters to water, 5.9 meters water column
Bluepump installation depth: 12.55 meters
117 people / 12 compounds
GPS: N 13 degrees 37.150′ W 015 degrees 18.986′
Date: April 21, 2015
Deliverable: Open well with two broken Mark II pumps chlorinated and sealed, 2 new Bluepumps installed
9.4 meters to water, 8.3 meters of water column
Bluepump 15 meters of pipe x 2
Two Bluepumps went to Kalikajara as planned. We also shock chlorinated the well with Aquaprove (chlorine dioxide). Before we closed the slab, the imam was lowered in and scooped out all the floating debris, including some frogs! We’re expecting the water quality to improve over time.
**Both pumps work fine now. However, one of the pumps has a very small pinhole leak on the water tank portion, so the water level drops a few centimeters–not a serious problem. We didn’t have an extra tank pipe piece to use, but hope to rectify this on another trip to make it right.
Kalikajara Open Well 1
Dankunku Health Center
1,500-2,000 people (150-200 compounds) in Dankunku, plus 26+ total beneficiary villages
GPS: N 13 degrees 34.357 W 015 degrees 19.468′
Date: April 21, 2015
Deliverable: 1 broken Indian Mark II pump replaced with Bluepump to provide district health center with 24 hour clean water access
14.5 meters to water, 5 meters of water column
Bluepump 18 meters of pipe
The last Bluepump went to Dankunku District Health Center. It serves 26 villages for primary care. Its solar water system broke long ago and now depends on a tapstand hooked up to Dankunku’s larger water system, as well as a well in front of it. The larger water system sometimes shuts down and is closed at night, leaving the health center with just one working hand pump, which we fixed a couple years back. The well had another pump, which stopped working. We installed a Bluepump on this pedestal, improving clean water access for all district residents and for patients and their families who have to stay overnight. We went back the following morning to see that water was falling back into the well from a small hole that was accidentally made in the slab when we set the mold. We went back and patched it as well as another hole on the side of the slab that wasn’t seen the day before.
14 compounds / 350 people
GPS N 13 degrees 33.736′ W 015 degrees 19.427′
Date: April 23, 2015
Deliverable: 2 broken Mark II handpumps fixed to provide village with sole source of clean water
Both Mark II pumps stopped working last year after we fixed them. Each has 7 x 3 meter pipes and 1 x 1 meter pipe, for 22 meters each. One pump was severely damaged through suspected misuse and abuse. The kingpin for the cylinder’s end piece was knocked out, with broken centralizers also falling and clogging the cylinder spring. Even with the replacement kingpin we put in, the cylinder leaked on testing, so we switched it out for the cylinder we harvested from Sare Sambel after installing a Bluepump there. This Sare Sambel cylinder is a newer, higher quality version–it didn’t leak. However, the threading configuration is different, so we also had to change the water tank to one with male threads. We were lucky we had one on hand, which was from either Sare Bakary or Sare Sambel pre-Bluepump–the one previously there had female threads and the bolts were rusted on and impossible to change, even though we had a spare thread plate.
Just as we suspected, the second pump was clogged due to sand. We believe the well may be caving in on one of the lower concrete rings within the water column. We lifted the slab, but did not see any breaks above the water column. 2 pipes were fully clogged with sand. The force caused one rod to bend. The plunger bolt also snapped right above the checknut connection point. We replaced the plunger with the one from the first pump and changed the plug gasket and spring. On testing, there were no leaks.
To avoid future sand clogs, we removed one section of 3 meter pipe, still leaving approximately 4 meters of pipe inside the water column.
Monitoring and Maintenance
Beneficiary villages will be responsible for caring for their handpumps and preventing misuse and abuse. Additionally, local GLP workers will be outfitted with basic tools to perform routine Bluepump checkups and maintenance.
Thanks again to Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association for making waterborne diseases a thing of the past for these communities!
Thanks to Jeremy for his always stellar work. Not just on this considerable achievement of a project, but also for the filter project he was doing simultaneously… and the many, many great projects he has done with us before!