Conclusion of Burji District Borehole Project – Ethiopia

This project has been completed under the direction of Dr. Yohannes Chonde, Founder of Grow East Africa (GEA), a project of Diaspora Burji Community Organization. To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.

 The project was designed to develop a solar-powered borehole, storage, and distribution system to provide water for the community.

Yohannes reports:

HareWonjie village or kebele is located on the eastern outskirts of Soyama town (latitude and longitude of 05°42′N 37°53′E with an elevation of 1,660 meters above sea level) in Burji District, SNNPR Ethiopia. The project involved replacing a broken hand pump in the existing borehole with a submersible solar pump.

The design called for pumping the water uphill for one kilometer to a storage tank located in the center of the village. The water is then distributed to the villagers, from a 5,000-liter storage tank raised 3 meters above the ground, via a gravity feed.

This project was funded by Water Charity and GEA, while the district water department and village community provided their expertise and labor to lay out the pipelines.

The following steps were implemented in the construction of the water delivery system:

1. Removal of a broken hand pump and determination of well water depth and capacity– GEA & local water department employee
2. Digging a trench (one kilometer long and one meter deep) up a steep hill and laying-down and burying a 1 ¼” diameter HDPE pipeline– performed by the villagers
3. Building an elevated stone and concrete platform stand for a five thousand liters HDPE water storage tank – performed by the villagers
4. Installation and testing of the GRUNDFOS Submersible Solar pump, Controller & seven Solar modules 24v DC with all necessary accessories – Solar technician
5. Connecting the pump to the buried pipeline – Solar technician
6. Training of the HareWenji village-water-committee – GEA
7. Handing Over ceremony – GEA & HareWenji Village leadership / water committee

The construction of pipeline and installation of the solar system and pumping of the water to the storage tank was successful. The villagers were delighted with the delivery of the clean water close to their homes. Moreover, the ladies, in particular the school-age girls, were joyful with a significant reduction of distance they have to carry a heavy load of water and the short time it takes to fetch water. The girls can now spend their precious time studying and get to school on time. Similarly, the village ladies can fetch water as many times as they wish without worrying about the long the distance, and instead spend their time on productive shores.

To ensure a sustainable functioning of the water delivery and monitoring of its use, we have formed the project team consisting of representatives from the village water committee, village chairperson, Burji District Water Department representative, Burji Development Association (BDA), and team leader. The project team will conduct a survey of water use and its impact on the livelihoods of the villagers. This team will also develop plans to improve the water delivery to the whole village.

We (GEA, BDA and Burji District Management, HareWenji Village residents) are thankful for the assistance of Water Charity in funding this project. Similar to HareWenji village, there are many communities in the Burji District that have zero access to clean water. After seeing this project, many leaders of other villages have requested the assistance of GEA for a similar project installation.

We extend our thanks to Yohannes for completing this important project.