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In Nov/Dec, 2009, a group from Water4 traveled to Ethiopia and then to Angola (an overall 40-day trip!) to conduct various water projects. Utilizing a combination of tools, including the Hydromissions 6″ auger, a modified EXP-50 system, and a pump of their own design, the team sent us the following report…

HydroLog (submitted by Steve Stewart of Water4): Upon completion of the demonstration well in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, the second leg of the trip was to join with World Vision in Luanda, Angola. Knowing that there were some uncertainties with our shipment clearing customs, the decision was made to depart for Huambo (an 8 hour drive southeast of Luanda and an area of focus for WV) to begin procurement of needed items. As is often the case, this at first appeared to be a monumental task. But as the time passed waiting on the crate, finding the needed items in Huambo became less challenging. After we were successful in locating all the items that are essential for in-country acquisition (galvanized steel pipe for the drilling structure, square steel tubing for the augers, PVC for casing and pump, filter pack sand and sieve, concrete, etc), we continued to source many of the items that would be required for sustained efforts as well (hand tools, specialty tools like pipe threaders and vises, and many of the raw materials and resources for actual production of drilling equipment and hand pumps). The time also allowed for rare opportunities to talk through a little geology, a few principles of physics, and the basics of well drilling and hand pumps before the actual work began.

The site selected for the well was a piece of land that separated World Vision’s “Best Practices” location from a small rural community (10 kilometers southwest of Huambo). The morning that I was taken to view the location, I was informed that the site already had two failed borehole attempts (Dec 08). Both holes were left open as was the large settling pit that is used with rotary drill rigs. The first borehole was 8 meters deep and stopped abruptly when the previous drillers struck rock. The second was not as clear as to why the drilling company had abandoned it but there was an indication that the amount of water would not warrant setting a hand pump. It measured 10.5 meters deep with 1.5 meters of static water. With the potential of needing to expedite training (due to the customs delay), plans were made to use the second borehole as a ready-made learning opportunity and a perfect training site to demonstrate how to set casing, complete a well and run in an Access hand pump.

My involvement in Water4’s previous project involved drilling wells in Ambato, Ecuador and in a region two hours outside of Manaus, Brazil. At both of these locations, our drilling efforts (auger and hollow-rod methods) were stopped by formations that continued to collapse (quicksand). Upon returning to the states, an effort was undertaken to research methods to deal with “quicksand” formations so that deeper zones could be explored with a hand-powered device. The integration of scaled-down “cable tool” bits and a bailer and the addition of a larger diameter auger (to allow for the possibility of telescoping the casing) were the theoretical solution and sets of these new tools were packed and shipped to both Ethiopia and Angola.

With the arrival of the crate in Huambo, the tools were transported to the drill site and the tripod was positioned above the second of the predrilled boreholes. The bailer was sent down-hole to begin investigating the reason for its incompletion. After the removal of a variety of debris (branches, rocks, a bottle, and several mangos), the geological evidence being removed was very familiar: quicksand. As with Water4’s efforts in South America, this zone put a stop to the small rotary drilling rig in Huambo too. When the rotary driller encountered this zone, the machine’s circulation was lost as the formation consumed the drilling mud and, without the ability to raise cuttings, the rotary drilling effort was stopped.

Now, we had both the perfect training opportunity and a chance to move a theoretical solution into a practical application. We purchased two 6” x 6 meter PVC pipes (straightening one by heating over an open fire and rolling on flat ground) and prepared the hole by increasing the downward pressure of the larger 6” auger to ensure that we could push through the quicksand and make contact with the upper boundary of the next geological zone. Accurate depth readings were recorded and the large PVC pipe was lifted into position and then ceremoniously dropped down the hole. The second 6” pipe was used to pile-drive the first pipe to the exact depth required to progress past the problematic formation.

The drilling effort then continued with the next smaller size auger (5”) slipping inside the 6” PVC pipe and boring through sticky clay. Less than half a meter further, an ideal large grained water-bearing sand was encountered. Saturation was evident as clear water quickly separated from the sand bringing a renewed enthusiasm to the team. Progress continued for two more meters before time dictated the need to set casing and proceed with the training to finish the well. The borehole stood unsupported from the surface to the quicksand zone at 10.5 meters (this same stability was evident in the hand dug wells in the area), the 6” x 6 meter PVC pipe was inserted from 5 meters to 11 meters. The primary water-bearing zone was encountered between 11.5 and 12 meters. Total depth of the borehole was 13.5 meters with 4.5 meters of static water. 4” casing was installed from just above total depth to one half meter above ground level (bottom 3 meters slotted). A filter pack of course grain sand was installed from 7.5 meters to the total depth of 13.5 meters. A 6” cement cap was poured on top of the filter pack to isolate the water-bearing zones from the surface. The remaining annulus was filled with native soil to within three feet of the surface. The next 5 hours were spent conditioning the well and noting the increased clarity and recovery rates. We concluded the day with a continuous pour of concrete to plug the upper three feet of annulus, fill the protective bollard, and form a 1.5 meter x 125 mm rock lined apron.

The following day was used to prepare and install an Access 1.2 hand pump. From taking final depth measurements (to accurately position the pump down-hole), to cutting, threading, and precisely setting the correct stoke of the handle, the installation went perfectly.

Rarely do the combination of aptitude and interest converge as I observed in my trainee Mendonça. And even more rare is the opportunity to witness the frontline personnel of such an admirable organization as World Vision. I greatly enjoyed my time in Angola and look forward to supporting future efforts as well as returning to Huambo very soon.

Cameroon – 2013

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Two wells were installed in the Donga Mantung division of the northwest region of Cameroon. The project was to establish wells at a primary school at Equato/Fung village. Our project lead Vise Chin purchased all parts for this project at the local market. A two person team was sent to the village before-hand to gain the support and commitment from the community.
Equato/Fung is more than an eight hours drive from Barmenda, the headquarters Vise Chin and his team. Therefore, all the items were purchased in Bamenda and Douala then transported to the village. On January 10th, 2013 a team of four set out from Bamenda to Quato/Fung. Currently the children collect water from a river near their village. The first several attempts to drill were unsuccessful. Rock was consistently hit, which forced the team to move to a different site and try again. We had an active community participation of 12 people. While working, we also trained people from the community on how to drill boreholes and also responded to their questions. The first well ended up being approximately 48 feet deep. The second well ended up being approximately 46 feet deep. The boreholes were then cased; gravel was poured around the casing for filtration and a water treatment agent was added to help purify the water while killing bacteria. Mono pumps from India were purchased and used at these sites, due to their availability. Pressure pipes, instead of regular PVC pipes were used do to the loose nature of the terrain and the internal collapsing risks. The pipes that we initially considered using were too thin and not very strong, so we had to recommend more expensive, resistant pipes for the wells.
The sand and cement were then mixed for the concrete pad. After this was all completed, we then flushed the pump by having constant pumping of the well for over 6 hours. The community was very happy and grateful for their new water supply. There was lots of singing and joy when we finally hit water. The wells are to help the school children and other members of the community who are suffering from lack of water and water related diseases.


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In February, 2007, we traveled to this Northwest African nation to train several local and international missions groups in hand augering and in soap-making. All of the details and logistics were coordinated by nationals. We worked from Bamenda, with the project being in Ntem, a village of about 2000 people. We drilled one of only 2 wells that have water during the dry season, and it is located in a primary school serving 132 kids (part of the Cameroon European Union Cooperation). Soap training was given to about 30 people, including one local pastor who hopes to use this new skill as an outreach to Muslims in the north of the country. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to leave an EXP-50 drill rig in the care of locals. (top)

HydroLog: 02/15/07-02/24/07. Location: N 06 19.420, E 011 02.153. Elevation: 791 meters. Well site at Ntem primary school. Site #1: Sandy clay at surface to 2.5ft, then red clay to 9ft. Changed to clay with “chalk” stone to 12ft. Ran into rock at 12 ft. Site#2: Moved 5ft toward school from site #1. Red clay to 15ft, then clay with white “chalk”. At 21ft, turned to sticky, clumpy chalk & clay mix. Drilled to 30ft on day 1 – clay moist but not damp. Day 2, drilled to 33ft. Now 60/40 chalk/clay mix. Water hit at 36ft. At 41ft, clay changed to gray with sand, then gray with gravel. Well cased at 43ft with 10.8 ft water column.

Health center (2 km away) is only public access well (12 meters) to have water during dry season. Equipped with Afridev/India metal pump. Hand dug well nearby 33ft with water at 27ft

Pump Supplies: “Vente der machines”. Located in Bafoussam (between Douala & Bamenda). Phone 966-02-06 or 344-41-56. Afridev type pump or electric pump complete down to 18 meters = 200,000 fr.


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In July, 2008, we traveled to this East African nation to work with BEZA International Ministries in an effort to help them expand their ministry to an isolated AIDS community on top of Entoto Mountain. In cooperation with the orthodox church, we were able to drill the first shallow bore hole well. Locals carried out most of the process, and many more wells are planned throughout the community (nearly 3000 people). Soap making as a microeconomic enterprise was taught to over 110 people. In addition, an appropriate water technologies seminar was conducted in Addis Ababa, with 50 representatives from various NGO’s in attendance. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to leave an EXP-50 drill rig in the care of BEZA to continue to drill on Entoto and in southern Ethiopia. This rig will also serve as a demo unit for other NGO’s to replicate the work. (top)

HydroLog: 07/18/08-07/31/08. Location: N 09 05.660, E 038 45.858. Elevation: 2998 meters. Well site on Entoto Mt. near village area of nearly 3000 people. Dense eucalyptus forest with hard rock boulders. Site #1: Ran into rock at 3 ft. Site#2: Moved 1ft from site #1. Red/white clay to 22ft, then moist, gray clay. At 25ft, turned to moist, dark gray clay with small stone particles. At 30ft, change to moist, burnt umber clay. At 33 ft changed to white/gray, sandy clay with quartz-like stones. Water hit at 35ft. Drilled to 38 ft and hit rock. Well cased at 38ft with 6.5 ft water column.

Closest previous water source is contaminated (cattle run-off) spring approximately 3/4 mile away.

Pump Supplies: “Central Building Materials & Machineries”. Located in textile district of Addis Ababa. Phone 0911-20 84 18 or 0911-04 77 02 or 0111-11 17 72, email: Afridev pump (head only) 7,000 birr. India MkII pump (head only) 6,500 birr, (cylinder only) 1,200 birr. Money Maker (treadle to 28ft) pump 2,200 birr.


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In March, 2010, Hydromissions, in partnership with Rescue Aid Foundation (RAF) worked in 2 villages to address water issues. Adawukwaa, located in Ghana’s central region proved to be difficult for drilling by hand (a lot of rock), however, the village already had the means for distillation of a cane sugar alcohol product. Although we were not able to put a well into that village, we are looking to work with RAF and village elders to convert an abandoned still into a water purification station. We then moved on to the Volta region (Togbui Zonyibah Ativedome) and drilled a successful well there, improving the quality of the water supply (they were using a pond), and reducing the walk for water by 2 miles. This was also the first field trip for our Associates, Scotty and Christine Longmire. A very successful trip all around. For more details, visit the Longmires’ Blog.
HydroLog: Sadly, our gps did not have a global base map, so no coordinates available. Adawukwaa: Multiple drill sites. Sand for 3ft, then sand/clay mix. Sandstone encountered around 10ft, then consolidated rock at 12ft. All sites abandoned. Volta: Moist sand for 1-2ft, then gray/blue clay with sand 3-5ft. Water hit at 5ft. Continued through gray clay with quartz like particles to 17ft. Well cased at 17ft, slow recharge rate. Bailer bucket installed and water flow improved to useful over following day.

Pump Supplies: “Yaaba Ent”, Box sc47, Tema. Tel. 00233-22205917. Various pvc and valve components (not pump specific). “Foundries & Agricultural Machinery, LTD”,, Tel. (233-22) 304113 or 306403. Meera (Indian) distributor. India MkII handpump to 100 ft, $2000 USD. Afridev to 100 ft, $1000 USD. Afridev foot valve only, $150 USD.

Hands of Mercy took an EXP-50 with them in May, 2006. The motto of the group is “a hand up, not a hand out.” We like that. June/July of 2007 will see Every Child Ministries engaged in a water-based community outreach. They will be using solar pumps in conjunction with hand drilled wells. The team plans on drilling in various areas throughout the country.


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Our September, 2006 trip to Kenya far exceeded even what we had expected (and we had expected a lot)! A successful well was drilled, several new technologies were introduced, soap-making was taught, and above all, the gospel was clearly and consistently given in word and deed. Through this project three tribes (Kipsigis, Kikuyu, and Masai) came together for extensive training in well drilling in Reresik (a community of about 1000 families near Roret and Kericho). They will use their new knowledge as they continue to serve as local missionaries to neighboring communities. For our time in Nairobi, we were privileged to connect with some of the team from CBMI (Christian Blind Mission International), whom we first met in Mauldin, SC – just a mile from our home. Small world. In addition, this trip was the pilot program for our soap making training. It was met with great success and excitement to the point that the community intends to make a go of commercial soap production for their local market.

HydroLog: 09/31/06 – 10/15/06. Location: S 00˚ 29.140″, E 035′ 05.418″ Elevation: 1759m. Well site at Reresik Primary School, near Kericho. Red clay to 25 ft, changing at 25ft to yellow, black and red with some moist, stony material. At 28ft, turned back to red clay. At 32ft, started to have small pieces of “charcoal” in the red clay, becoming very wet at 33ft. Water hit at 33.5ft. Drilled to 50 ft. Cased well at 47ft (3ft cave in). 15ft water column on day 1. (top)

Pump Supplies: “Afripumps (Kenya) Limited”, PO Box 48624 Nairobi, Phone: 802604; “Kenya Water handpump Ltd”, Mr. Ravi Gandhi, P.O. Box 49745 Nairobi, Phone: 254-254-26-87; “Industrial Components (Kenya) Ltd.” (Molded Plastic Parts), P.O. Box 65017 Nairobi, Phone: 802301.

Mozambique / Zimbabwe


September 2013: God brought water to the people of Mozambique through your generosity, the efforts of Bernardo (pictured here) along with 10 other nationals and our Hydromissions team of Steve, Jen and Tim. We would also like to thank Build the Nations director Brad Palmer and team members Jacques, and Piet for their partnership on this project. BTN is a great organization working to educate boys and girls of Shayandima South Africa check them out at All praise to God for giving us success on this trip!


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A team of medical missionaries is working with Mercy Air on an on-going project in Chimoio (west of Beira). The team assists a medical clinic that has become an orphanage for over 400 abandoned children. Through various trips, they hope to equip the clinic/orphanage with livestock, medical and educational supplies, and a more adequate water supply. The group left two EXP-50’s in August, 2005, and trained the locals on how to drill, which may become a source of income for the local community.

Pump Supplies: “Stenaks Trading & Shipping Ltd.”, Mr. Jan van Hoorn, Caixa Postal 1028 Maputo, Phone: 258-146-57-33.


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In November 2006, we had the privilege of sending Ralph Quin to Senegal to serve with a team from Rocky Creek Baptist Church in South Carolina. Ralph went along to assess the water situation and to evaluate possible solutions. The team was not able to drill a well (volcanic rock was hit at about 15 feet, and current wells were hand dug to about 200 feet over a very long period of time). However, success is not measured in gallons per minute, and the trip proved to be a valuable tool in creating in-roads to a people group that had been previously hard to reach. The drilling equipment was left with local missionaries to serve in other, more suitable areas of Senegal. Our hope and prayer is that the efforts seen during this trip will help to further relationships with the people of Senegal, and that the door will be open for many more to hear the gospel.

May, 2007 saw another group from Rocky Creek go and teach soap making among the Sereer people in two villages. That outreach was instrumental in building relationships while providing a great hygiene and economic resource to the local women. The translator on that project is now able to repeat the process to teach to more villages in the area. Hydromissions is glad to have played a part in this outreach by training some of the missionaries in our soap shop before they went into the field.

Sierra Leone

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In February, 2008, a group from Anderson, SC traveled to the Kondie Community of Sierra Leone. The area is mostly Muslim, but many have come to Christ through free medical clinics (water will play a large part in future clinics as well). As for the drilling, the first hole was plugged accidentally by a rock accidentally kicked in the hole by a young helper. The second hole hit a big rock. The US team ran out of time, but the locals ended up finishing the well (photo #2). Our thanks to Living Water International for graciously providing a nice hand pump for the completed well – always fun to partner with you guys. Future trips are planned to establish another medical clinic in a more remote location. This is just the beginning…


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In November, 2005, Hydromissions sent our first official consultant to southern Sudan with a team from Branches to Sudan. The group brought out an EXP-50 and some VK-01 pump kits to this extremely remote area. Three wells were attempted, but no water was struck (see logs below). However, the measure of success is not in the water, but in the power of God to change lives. Locals were thoroughly trained in drilling and pump assembly. In addition, several promising follow-up drill sites were identified for the locals to drill on their own – a success that is far better for the villagers in the long run than if the foreign team had done it themselves. Please continue to pray for the people of this harsh area, and for the continued outreach of Branches to Sudan. For an excellent article (published by the South Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources) about this Sudan experience, click here.

HydroLog: 11/17/05 – 12/03/05. Location: N 10˚ 00′ 40.8″, E 30˚ 11′ 37.0″. Well #1. Total depth of 35ft, 8-inches. No water found. Location: N 10˚ 00′ 58.2″, E 30˚ 11′ 20.0″. Well #2. Total depth of 12ft, 2-inches. No water found. Location: N 10″ 00′ 58.5″, E 30″ 11′ 29.9″. Well #3. Total depth of 10ft, 2-inches. No water found.


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It all began with several trips to Tanzania by groups from the St. Paul area. Upon their return, they had a dream. This dream was to provide clean, safe drinking water for the villages in Central Tanzania. They had seen firsthand the tremendous need for clean and safe water. They had witnessed women and children (and sometimes men) spending many hours manually hauling water long distances, which is unproductive and leads to an unhealthy lifestyle. Someone hauling water for hours each day is not making money, not in school, and not teaching. In Tanzania, 44% of the population get their water from unprotected sources. They don’t wash enough or drink enough water. Therefore, they fall prey to diseases and dehydration. 68% of the people there are affected by water-borne diseases due to lack of safe, clean water. This group started meeting to get ideas as to what they could do to help. It has grown from the once-small group working with Bega Kwa Bega (Don and Eunice Fultz- the companion congregation coordinatiors) to approximately 70 people from 27 different congregations. This group is now known as the St. Paul Partners for the ELCT-Iringa Diocese Water Development Program. They have partnered with Bega Kwa Bega, the Iringa Diocese in Tanzania, Lifewater International, the Tanzanian government, and the village water committees, for the purpose of providing local villages with a safe, clean, and adequate water supply within a reasonable walking distance. The plan is to do this by drilling simple medium depth wells, and by repairing existing wells where needed.

HydroLog: 05/22/05. (by Keith Olson of St. Paul Partners). We started out at the first site, Sokoine. We toured of their water holes. They made me sick to see. We looked at many possibilities before deciding on one near the church Herb and Robert were helping the Massi build. The auguring want slowly but in about 2 hours we were down about 17 feet and had no sign of water. Then a couple on Massi came by and said we were in the wrong place and should try over by an other tree about 200 meters away. There was some discussion and we finally told them that if they wanted to move they would have to do the digging. They said they would and started. After eating the 3 of us headed back to site 1 to “pick the drilling crew”. They were down to about 50 feet and into some sandstone. Thursday we “dropped” the crew at Sokione Kibaoni and want to Parakuyo Mgudeni. The workers the Massi had hired were down to 35 feet and were really doing a good job. They had figured how to use the ‘slip”, a device used to hold the square rod while you are raising or lowering the augur. Friday we want back to the auguring at Parakuyo Mgudeni. They had gotten down to 50 feet and still had not hit water. We bought/made some square tubing with holes in it so they could go to 60 feet. We asked them if we could go to a water hole they had showed us on Tuesday and drill a test hole there. They were not so sure but finally agreed and we did just that. It was of course a “setup” as we knew we would hit water there. They augured about 4 feet and hit the water. They then want an other 5 feet and I showed them how a home made bailer, we had made, worked. They liked it but did not want to put a casing in the ground to get the good clean water as they said “robbers from the near by village” would steal it even if we cemented it in. We asked them if they knew of any places that were similar to this water hole and they said they did. We traveled for about ½ hour in several circles and they finally said “here”. It was a low spot in the ground and had good black dirt that was cracked indicating it had had water on it and was now dried out. We augured to about 4 feet and the dirt turned to mud and the mud to sand and at about 6 feet the auger got hard to pull up. It made a sucking sound and we found water! Everybody was very excited. It started to rain quite hard but the 3 Massi just kept on turning that auger. We were able to recover enough water to bail it. The GPS (Global Positioning System) showed we were only about .4 KM from the other hole we had bore near the church. We left the auger with them and asked them to go to 60 feet with the other hole and even try some new ones if they wanted. Saturday we went to drill site one to finish the reaming down to 57 feet and then a flush. We installed the casing and screen and began bailing. We bailed down to 55 feet and there was no inflow of water and therefore the well is a dry one. This was a real downer abut the good Lord has a reason I am sure. We will find out later. Monday we will verify there is still no water and see about a different site if Herb and Robert say so. We will also augur near the well at a water hole to see if there is a layer of water/sand that could be pumped like the one in Parakuyo Mgudeni. I feel that auguring and drilling in the Morogoro area is a good possibility and will purchase an augur similar to the one we used, for Morogoro. (top)
Pump Supplies: “TWSSC Ltd.”, Mr. Suraj Kakar, P.O. Box 7 Morogoro, Phone: 255-56-30-42.

Uganda – 2013





All in all, the project was very successful, God’s grace has been very sufficient with all the crew members and He granted our team good spirit and health.
Thank you for your support to make this a successful work, thank you for the prayers each and every one of you did for us here, you prayed that God in His Mighty powers heals me from Malaria and He did so, I am very well now and in very good spirit -Hydro Consultant Washington



Hydromissions recently had the opportunity to continue its efforts in Uganda through the completion of another well project. Many children of Uganda suffer from waterborne and food related diseases including bacterial diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid.  Through your generous donations, Hydromissions is continually able to make an impact. Please be in prayer for the children of Uganda. Pray that God will make Hydromissions aware of other projects to complete this year in areas of real need.