A message from Alive & Well Chairman Paul Dowding 06/10/12
I want to take this opportunity to re-state our key objectives for the coming drilling (dry) season beginning in December and let you know what is happening currently. The rainy season gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the work we are undertaking and to re-assess our priorities, projects etc. The current time represents quite a challenge what with the Cholera outbreak that is killing people in our district and chiefdoms, the upcoming elections and the instability that that brings alongside the normal challenges of working in such a remote, inaccessible and difficult terrain as we encounter in Pujehun District. It is gratifying that we seem to become energised when there are difficulties to address and I am really pleased with our response.
We are committed to drilling between 15 and 20 wells in the coming season and this is an achievable target but not an easy one. What has triggered me to write this email is a report that I received recently. The Chair of a UK based charity approached us to ask us if we would drill in the north of the country which we decided was not a suitable project for us. He has however sent me through this attached report from the SL Government which is not dated as far as I can see however it is a really interesting document that confirms what we believe to be the geological situation in Pujehun and the rest of SL.
The map shows that the favourable drilling conditions spread across Pujehun district where we currently work. This is also subject to local variations, outcrops etc. so each village is taken in isolation by trial drilling. We have been slightly concerned that the villages we have recently been drilling in have proved tough geologically and were concerned that geology was against us. We can see from the maps that there are extensive favourable conditions across Pujehun. It is interesting to note that Bonthe District to the South and West of Pujehun District has extremely favourable for manual or rotary drilling as the geological conditions are even better than in Pujehun. This may be of interest to us in the future depending on how drilling goes in the coming year in our district.
Our current remit is to continue with our Pujehun Project and to address the following in the priority order stated below:
- Drilling in Cholera affected villages is our new primary focus where practical for 2013 drilling season
- Villages with one well that due to population size actually require two (we know that the geology is suitable in those villages)
- New villages in Pujehun that do not have safe water yet
We have also confirmed our commitment to provide water in every village that we nominate. If we are unable to drill because of the geology etc. then we will attempt to dig a well by hand using contractors. We are currently undertaking this in two villages that we have tried 4 or 5 boreholes in and been unsuccessful.
Gearing up for the drilling season means we need funds urgently of course so if any of you are able to generate funds, find sponsors or provide funds from your own contacts or sources then now is a great time for a push.
We will be sending out information on a more regular basis from now on as we have undertaken a new organisation of the charity and now have a Management Board consisting of new positions; Communications Director (Jon Sugden) and Fundraising Director (Kim Findlay) alongside Projects Director (Hal Macfie). Will Hancock has taken on the role of Treasurer and Barnaby Elphick continues as Secretary. We believe that this new organisation puts us in shape to grow in the future and our intent is to develop[ the charity as we originally dreamed to 5, 10, 15 drilling rigs sponsored by independent groups. Our work now lies in generating the funds to achieve that dream.
We know we can count on your continuing support as we seek to build our charity to achieve even greater success
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