Different people deal with unknowns in different ways. From enormous and deep unknowns like the origins of life to smaller and more specific unknowns like the best location for a sustainable groundwater source for a few thousand people in Misuuni. Some have faith. Some have science. Some a combination of both. Being engineers, we have to think as we have been trained to. Step by step.
There is a lot of work to be done. See a map of the approximate project area below:
Awaiting eagerly the first of three reports from our hydrogeologist in Kenya, we do not take anything for granted. When we get the report, our EWB hydrogeologist, Jeff Randall will take a clear-eyed view of the data and will voice his opinion without sentiment. Jeff has been doing this a long time in many parts of the world. This is not his first rodeo.
There are alternatives to groundwater and we are looking at those too, of course. Here are the usual preferences for water source development:
1st - No treatment or pumping required.
2nd - No treatment, but pumping is required.
3rd - Some treatment, but no pumping is required.
4th - Both treatment and pumping are required.
In New York we open a faucet and get plentiful clean water without thinking. In Misuuni, women and children collect their household’s water from the Misuuni watering point throughout the day. The watering point consists of a well, submersible pump, a diesel generator for the electric power to run the pump, storage tanks, and piping. This is the main source of potable water for the area. Our objective is to make clean water more available in the study area just to the north of this watering point. If someone is tired or sick, they might not have the strength to make the long haul and may be tempted to use some more convenient but contaminated water sources such as the intermittent streams or dam impoundments - if they have not dried out between rainy seasons.