Gift of the Givers has been involved in bringing water to many rural areas in South Africa and Malawi. Our borehole programme is overseen by Dr Gideon Groenewald - a geologist, hydrologist and paleontologist - with over 35 years experience in managing groundwater.
The general process involves:
- Visit by community liaison to identify the suitability of the site
- A desktop study by a geo-hydrologist – identifying potential drilling sites
- Multiple site visits – to finalise drilling site (based on magnetometer readings) as well as interactions with the community – explaining the process and expectations
- Drilling, lining and basic construction around the borehole
- Blow rate and yield testing
- Water quality tests
- Pump installation with Eskom or solar
- Installation of security block, manhole, fencing and tanks
- Possible installation of filtration system
- Registration of the Borehole
- Handover to the community – with talk on water and environmental conservation
When identifying points for new boreholes – the following is taken into consideration:
- The needs of the community (in relation to other areas). How close or far is the nearest water access point? How many people are sharing this point? Are all households serviced with the current supply that is available?
- The likelihood of finding water. Based on the hydrological assessment – we have to determine to a reasonable degree of certainty that water is available within the area under focus.
- The outcome of the community engagement. We expect the community to take collective responsibility for the security and maintenance of the borehole. Before any hydrological assessments begin – our team engages the community – and helps them initiate the borehole committee, with members selected from the community. This committee is responsible for ensuring that the borehole is not vandalised. They also appoint a primary contact to liaise with our team – should there be a need for an expert to go out to perform repairs.
- Site selection is generally biased towards schools. These provide access control, security and ease of follow up for maintenance and repairs. Depending on the agreement between the school and the department as well as the yield and quality of the water – we may connect the borehole into the school’s system directly so that they have running water in their systems. In this case special permission is obtained from the Department of Education and/or Department of Public Works.