Teams who work for themselves
Since 2012 Village Water has been supporting the professionalistion of manual drilling in Zambia. 14 teams have been trained, mostly comprising local people with some experience of hand digging wells, motivated to try a new skill. Manual drilling is cheaper and safer and wells are deeper, mitigating the impact of climate change.
The teams are trained in hydro-geology and manual drilling techniques before starting on the well. During this time they show everyone in the village how to carry out basic well maintenance and repairs.
The teams have had in-depth business skills training in finance and accounts, legal obligations, writing a tender, marketing and branding to prepare them to bid to a wide range of clients.
Why manual drilling works
Manual drilling works well in Western Province where villages are small. Large private enterprises do not find it profitable and fear their heavy mechanical rigs will sink in the Kalahari sands.
The locally based, independent manual drilling teams boost the economy by creating employment and demand for drilling kits and tools which are also made in the area.
Having the teams close to the communities increases sustainability as it reduces dependency on external agencies. It also increases accountability as teams are responsible for rectifying any problems with the water points they install.