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Moshi, TZ – Schools dig into high, clean, constant water table – 20 Jul 2016

Kahe well digging 20160722Maendeleo and Oria primary schools are thankful for their good luck in digging into an “underground river” which should provide a clean and constant source of ground water. The good fortune has caused them to combine well-digging budgets so that both schools can take advantage of the water supply and use the same well.

Well-digging in Kahe is a risky job because it is impossible to know what will be under the surface without expensive equipment. Sometimes a simple 15 foot dig through loose dirt will yield sufficient water for a family to use year-round. Other times diggers run into rocks so hard and thick they have to start over again with a new hole. The schools happened upon the third and most desirable outcome, an underground river.

The water-table in Kahe is fed by two sources: rain water and mountain run-off. Well-diggers are most likely to dig into the water-table which is fed by rain water. Simply put, when it rains water soaks through the ground and eventually into this rain-fed water table. It is like an underground pond collecting excess rain water. The water can usually be reached with a shallow well but levels change with the season and the water is typically very dirty.

Mountain run-off from Mt. Kilimanjaro produces the other source of ground water: “underground rivers”. As water flows off of Mt. Kilimanjaro some of it goes underground and continues through cavities in the rocks. Some of these pass through Kahe. It is great luck to hit one of these rivers when digging because the water is less seasonal and cleaner. Some people with these wells drink the water directly from the ground without treatment!

Experience suggests that one 11 meter deep should be sufficient to supply both schools with year-round water access for water corn, beans, bananas, and vegetables.