The community of Shark Hole is a large Ngobe community with a water pipeline running through the very center of town. The water line is fed by a spring higher above the town. The complaint from the community is that water rarely flows through the pipe and often times they are paying for water when no water is actually available to them. Initially the community wanted Hydromissions to fund additional pipes to connect into another spring to fed water into the community. We did not believe that the request was a sustainable or healthy solution. Surface water is the least safe water to drink unfiltered. There are times when it is the only option, however we decided that drilling borehole wells in Shark Hole would be a better source of safe water for the families. It took some time – some repeat visits – for the community to start to embrace the idea of a borehole well. We drilled one first up on the hill for the birthing home. This home is for child birthing and did not have any access to the piped water system. The attendants to the mothers and babies had to walk buckets of water to the birthing home. The well was shallow, but provided sufficient recharge for the birthing home to use. This well was the first example of a borehole well for the Shark Hole residents. Most were still skeptical, but one family decided that they wanted a borehole well at their house. We thought that if their neighbors saw the well, they would also want one and we could help the community with the wells instead of the piping system. The family of Pablo received their well and many neighbors watched us drill. They decided that the borehole well was a good option and many more requests started coming in for wells. We reminded the families that the wells were to be shared between multiple homes (all of the homes in the town area were close together so sharing a well would have been easy). We drilled on additional well in Shark Hole for a cluster of 3 families before we left to work in different communities. Shark Hole will continue to receive wells and pvc pumps by Hydromissions field partner, Simon.
We had the privilege of sending Kieth Larrimore as our consultant down to Oaxaca, Mexico in May, 2006 to train over 20 local and foreign missionaries on well drilling and general appropriate water technologies.
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