Our Projects: Wells for Water
Madison Quakers, Inc. received a request from the village People’s Committee in 2011 to fund the drilling of a well for a hamlet in Nghia Tho village. Paperwork for the well drilling was begun March 2012 and finished in June, 2012, when drilling finally began.
The villagers of Nghia Tho are all H’re, one of Vietnams 53 ethnic minorities. The population as of May, 2012, is 1177 people from 335 families. 232 of the 335 families, or more than 69% of the village population, live in extreme poverty.
Read more about how Phan Van Do's persistence in the drilling of this well was the reason for its success in beating the odds. Eighty percent of all wells drilled in the province by the Vietnamese government have failed.
In 2005 the Australian government funded the digging of a number of wells in this and other nearby villages. However, they dug only to bedrock so the villagers are without water from May through August. They must then climb into the mountains, find streams that have running water, fill small buckets with water and climb back down to their homes. Not only is this extremely hard but it took much time from their daily lives.
It should be noted that 80% of all wells drilled in this province by the Vietnamese government have failed. So it was no surprise when we encountered problems. Phan Van Do reported that after drilling through 210 feet of granite the well driller had used all the pipe he had and still the new well produced only a trickle of water. In Do’s words “The drillers are not happy. The contractor is not happy either. He has used all his drilling capacities, drilling pipes and equipment. He asked for my opinion. I first asked him to borrow his partners drilling pipes to continue drilling deeper. He couldn't borrow. Then I asked him to buy 2 more drilling pipes for his own equipment. The two drilling pipes, 30 feet each, came today June 12 from Saigon on a truck. The drilling will continue tomorrow June 13.”
After drilling through almost 300 feet of granite the well driller finally struck a good flow of water.
Drilling the well was only one part of the process, however. It was Phan Van Do’s oversight of every aspect of this project; from hand delivering all paperwork to the proper authorities for processing, to designing the holding tank, piping, pipe connections, teaching the villagers how to use the equipment etc., that was responsible for the success of the this water well.
Almost 30 families have access to this well water and we are now raising funds for the construction of another well in the village for next year.
Notes from Phan Van Do which explain the drilling proceedure and history:
Procedures of the well drilling project in a H'Re ethnic minority mountainous village in Nghia Tho, Quang Ngai, Vietnam:
1. The ethnic H'Re expressed their wish and their need for water and asked if MQI could help them.
4. Seeking contractors for building and drilling
5. Contracts made
6. Waiting for approval from district and province governments
7. Construction of the tank began with a ceremony to the earth and mountain's Gods first
8. Drilling began
9. Pump machenics started
10. Electricians joined in
11. Drilling the second time
12. Drilling the third time with the depth of 95m or nearly 300 feet
13. Pipeline installed
14. Fixing the second tank built by Australian aid but now abandoned
15. Domestic connections, with MQI's water meters and pipes donation
16. Cleaning up the area, bushes, trees around the tank were chopped down
17. Quality check and hand-over meeting, the ethnic kids are the first users of the project water
18. Maintenance discussion with the district's responsibility who monthly pays a man to run the project
19. Testing the system
Time for construction: Four months, from late March 2012 to the end of July 2012
Total cost: USD 7,870
1. Monthly there is a person going from door to door of the beneficiaries to collect money for electricity use for the water pumps. Everyday water is pumped for 4 hours.
2. The district government agrees to pay a man who is in charge of the pumping
Drilling in the Quang Ngai Province
In many villages in the mountainous regions in Quang Ngai province residents don't have water during the summer months. Existing wells were dug only to bedrock. These wells provided water for eight months of the year but dry up during the hot season. Therefore, the people must walk up to streams in the mountains to carry water on poles and small buckets back to their homes for their use.
This project involves drilling for water through up to 120’ of bedrock, where the water will then be pumped to various locations for community use.
MQI project coordinator Phan Van Do has been working with village elders and professional well diggers researching the engineering logistics of these projects. This research willl allow MQI to immediately dig these wells deeper once sufficient funds are raised. In addition to the drilling, donations will be used for the pumps, pipes, faucets, and the supplies for the basins.
Persistence pays off
Phan Van Do prays to the Earth Gods for success finding water
Phan Van Do overseeing the drilling of the well.
Nghia Tho children play in the fresh, clean water.
Phan Van Do with the holding tank.
This existing well provides water to the villagers for about 8 months out of the year. Because it was dug only to bedrock, it doesn't provide a year-round water supply. Contributions are needed to fund the drilling of up to 120' of bedrock, which will provide water year-round.