Blog, Mission Possible, Oct 2016. Down The Well We Go. 2nd November, 2016
As part of their Mission Possible deployment in Tanzania, the volunteers have to take part in programmes which will help improve the quality of life for villagers. It ranges from providing new toilet blocks at a school to digging a well. As Aqeel Abbasi describes, it can be a physical ordeal.
Our day began by visiting Mrozo village where we were tasked with contributing to the construction of the toilets for the local school. With 2 toilets between 300 students and no real sanitation, it can be seen as an emergency situation, especially with the risk of major UTI (urinary tract infection) problems.
Before we began we were given a tour around the construction site to give us an insight of what needed to be done. I had the task of filling the breeze blocks with cement - the job was difficult in the scorching heat.
After a couple of hours we switched tasks with the other team and co-ordinated our work according to what was needed.
The tasks included filling the breeze blocks, mixing the cement and digging 4ft deep for the septic tank which is for the toilet.
After lunch we revisited Msaika village. We had been there the previous day as part of the water collection trek and CPA (community participation assessment).
Alhamdullilah, I had the privilege of entering the well, which was around 18ft deep at this point, in order to continue digging to arrive at the water source. The experience was particularly challenging but I managed to overcome my fears by observing how the fundi (handyman/worker) as they are called here, entered the well and carried out the digging. It was extremely hot and humid as I was 18ft deep and all I hoped was that I would hit the water source.
The soil was really damp at this point which indicated that I was close to the water source. I came out after 10 minutes as unfortunately I couldn’t take the heat. I was sweating very badly and it helped me understand why the other workers were just wearing their shorts with safety equipment.
The struggles the fundi go through in the hope of finding water were astonishing and it was amazing to see how humble they were during their work.
Alhamdullilah at 3.30pm we hit water - words cannot describe the feeling of seeing the water pouring through as this will be the main source of clean water for a minimum of 300 people daily. Insha’Allah the fundi will keep digging another 6ft deep to hit the main water bed to maximise the water.
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