Well Drilling//Developing Technologies//Sierra Leone
Developing Technologies are a UK based charity who work with local partners around the world to develop technology that is appropriate for those living at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’. A couple of years ago DT were approached by an NGO in Sierra Leone that required a cheap and simple method of drilling wells in order to provide water to rural villages. The NGO, Rural Water Aid, is run by Senesi Fawundu, a Local Councillor living in Bo, Sierra Leone’s second City. During the previous couple of years DT decided to focus on the percussion drilling technique, where a heavy drill bit is repeatedly raised and dropped to form a hole in the ground abut 150mm in diameter, and up to 60m deep (depending on the length of cable!). This process is perfect for drilling in rural areas because both the equipment and the process itself are very simple, in fact the only required equipment is a few drill bits and the portable drill rig to lift them. My job was to further develop the drill rigs to work as well as commercial alternatives, but at a fraction of the cost and with the feature of being able to build and repair them with material and workshops available locally.
September 2011 onwards
Shelterbox is a charity based in Cornwall, UK who respond to humanitarian emergencies by providing shelter, warmth and dignity to those who are most in need. The characteristic green Shelterboxes contain tents, cooking equipment, blankets, tools and water purification equipment to enable affected families to survive in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Shelterbox have gained a reputation since their foundation in 1999 for professionalism and the ability to get the job done in very difficult circumstances. I have recently completed and passed a selection course for further training to become part of a Shelterbox response team, who are often the first people to provide aid after major disasters internationally.