Tembo pulling out the root ball!
This is what it felt like living in the rain forest, during rainy season for the past week with a water system that was broken. PRAISE GOD, we now have water flowing and the water tanks are half full (or half empty if you will).
Last week the water stopped flowing. People were forced to carry water from the streams to their houses to drink, wash etc.
We had to send the students at Christ School home for a few days because the water shortage meant we could not cook the normal staples of porridge, and beans and rice. We paid someone to bring a truck load of jerrycans full of water, but we still had several students develop a gastroenteritis.
I consulted Dr. Scott about the urgency and he warned that in the past Bundibugyo had two rainy seasons that coincided with two significant outbreaks of cholera, which took the lives of many people. He said we could not afford to sit and hope the government would take care of the job. So, with two of the technicians trained by Michael Masso we began walking the 6km area of pipe where we suspected the problem. We patched several major leaks hoping this would provide enough pressure to push the water over the hills and into the Nyahuka water tanks. This failed. So I consulted Michael Masso and Josh Dickenson and the internet (looking for "Water Engineering for Dummies" and searching "causes of water stoppages in rural Africa"-google had some interesting tidbits). We also prayed, a lot.
After 4 days of digging and patching, we finally came across the problem. There was a large root ball stuck in a section crushed by a cacoa truck. We patched this area and water began to flow. You would have thought I was Jed Clampett finding oil!
The pipe is still in bad need of repair. There is a 70 meter section with 8 major leaks and a dozen or so more leaks up stream from this area. We hope to do a little more work to make the system a more stable. For now, we have a small tight bandaid on the problem and praying that it will hold.