Today, we started at the Benin village of Gbovie Kinwedji to finish the water well that we had been working on for three days. The drill rig was just lowering the derrick when the trainer from Canada, Paul, asked the pump crew if they could stay to watch the developing process take place. Patrice, the Country Manager for Benin, obliged and they all assisted us in the preparation of the well.
Going into this process the pump crew was skeptical as to whether this well would produce any water, especially since there were indicators that said the area was water baring only 1.5 meters deep. Paul instructed them on how he wanted the team to air develop the well using less air pressure and starting from the top and work down in increments. The team followed Paul’s instructions and shortly after they witnessed the well produce more water than they had ever experienced. After years of Patrice being involved with the Water for Life Initiative, nothing even came close to what he had witnessed this day.
While we were developing the well, some of the women from the village were watching. When they saw all of this abundant, clean water pouring out of the PVC, they started to shout and dance around as they were overcome with joy. I heard some of the women shouting “Halleluiah” over and over again.
The girls and women started to run back to their huts and brought back their bowls and placed them near the well. Within moments their 10 gallon bowls were full and they were rushing home with them so that they could come back and get more of this fresh clean water. Before you new it there were women coming from every direction. It was like a beehive the way they where coming and going.
The crew was filled with joy finally seeing the fruit of their labour. This was something the crew just never gets to experience. I got the impression that seeing all of this lifted their spirits, as they seemed to be walking taller and had a spring in their step as they left.
Sent by Brian