Karibu! Welcome!

Since 2004, EWB@ MSU's professional and student volunteers have worked with community members in Khwisero, Kenya to provide water and sanitation infrastructure at the district's 58 primary schools, making it easier for Khwisero's children to avoid waterborne disease and get an education.

In that time, the group has grown from a small club to one of MSU's premier student organizations, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund seven borehole wells, six composting latrines and a biogas latrine that serve thousands of community members.

Thank you for joining us as we continue to work hand-in-hand with local partners to make a difference in one small part of our world. As Western Kenya's limited internet access allows, we will update this blog while in-country with the successes, stories and lessons provided by our work.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Day at the Driller

Jackson accompanied Eric and me to Kakamega to meet with Mohammed Ali of Haikal Investments, the drilling company we have been working with since 2008. He welcomed us into his office and asked if we would like a soda. Eric and I both declined, not being sure exactly what we would be agreeing to if we accepted. Mohammed smiled at us and explained that to turn down the soda would be considered rude. Understanding that the soda was a gesture of welcoming, we gladly accepted.

As we sipped our sodas, Mohammed walked us through all the specifics of the borehole and the test pumping procedures he used in gauging the potential of the well. The procedures seemed very similar to those that had been recommended by drillers in the Bozeman area. He made a copy of the report that detailed the methods and results from the well test which should provide sufficient information for our team in Bozeman to design the proposed pipeline. Knowing the details for the well and the application we were hoping for, Mohammed was able to recommend a suitable submersible pump for our project.

He was easy to communicate with and we discussed the project for about an hour. We were pleased to find that his firm has experience with everything from boreholes to the implementation of a distribution pipeline. We discussed the importance of community buy in and he is willing to work with the community if his bid is accepted for the project. We explained that we are planning to work on the pipeline design as a group, in MT, and he is willing to work with us and remain in contact via email as we work toward a final design. Overall, we were very pleased with the outcome of the meeting and are looking forward to engaging him in our future projects.


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