Conclusion of Andonaka Well Project – Madagascar
This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Bryan Stinchfield. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.
The project was to build 2 community wells in the East and West sections of the village center.
The Andonaka Well Project is officially complete. Two fully functioning, clean water wells are now available for the 1,250 residents. With some twists and turns along the way, the community was able to join together to successfully finish the two wells with the Water Charity donations.
Some challenges arose during the building of the wells. The first mason we hired made an inadequate mix of concrete for the circular molds, which caused 25 of the 36 molds to break during transportation or construction of the wells. Also, during the digging of the second well, the walls collapsed. We quickly decided to end our working relationship with the original mason and demanded a refund on the wasted supplies.
A close friend, and highly skilled mason, was available after Christmas and was excited to help us solve our problems with the project. The first well constructed was easy and simple and was completed in four days. The second caused us more problems. After stacking the molds in the ground and hitting water 4.5 meters down, the well began to crack slightly. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the walls collapsed while the mason was repairing the cracks. Not even a scratch on him, but a few quick prayers from the onlookers thankful that nothing serious happened. We were left with a hole of expensive, poorly made concrete rings and no well to show for it.
After meeting with the community, more supplies, concrete blocks and molds were bought with the remaining funds. Also, a local NGO allowed the community to borrow materials. The new plan was to stack 4 molds at a time, then, make a concrete mix following international building standards while adding rebar and metal ties to reinforce the structure. The process worked beautifully, and after 4 days of work following this new method, we had hit water with a good solid structure. We had finally reached our goal of completing two wells for the community.
The village elders wanted to say a special thanks to everyone. In Malagasy, the word Sambatra means “to be blessed”. They thank you dearly for everything you have done and wish you all Sambatra in your lives.
We are grateful to Bryan for completing this project, and again extend our thanks to John Phillips, and Bryan’s other friends and family, for providing the funding.