These two pictures show damage done by elephants to a spring box. Originally we had made plans to do a repair to the hand pump, damage done by elephants previously. Before we could do the repair, the elephants returned and literally ripped the cement platform off the spring so they could get to the water below.
The hand pump is mounted on a spring box, or a container which sits on top of a natural spring which provided a source of water for over 600 families. Once the elephant damaged the pump the lid to the box was opened up and left open so that people could dip water out of the box. This led to the water being contaminated and unsafe to drink. The villagers continued using it as it was the only source for over four miles. (An interesting note: when we arrived to assess the damage done by the elephants the first time, we were informed that a hyena had gotten in the spring box, gotten stuck and died. You simply cannot imagine some of the situations locals face in trying to find clean water…even when the clean water source is nearby.)
Our plans had been to rebuild the broken hand pump with one our ministry partners, and one of their visiting teams, within two weeks’ time. The pump top, handle, and inner components have been sitting in the garage of our partners, repaired and ready to reinstall.
Before that repair could be done, we received a call that the elephants had returned to the scene of the crime. Now the repair is much more extensive. You can see the pedestal where we removed the damaged parts is now the only thing holding the entire top of the spring box from falling the ten feet into the box! We will work with our ministry partners, and their team, and attempt to drill a new bore hole near this spring box and put in an elephant-proof pump to provide a safe water source.
We wanted to share this with you just to give you an idea of some of the challenges villagers face in getting water each day. It also helps give you a glimpse into the issues we deal with in finding solutions to clean water problems – no two are ever alike.
Join us in praying that the elephant does not decide to come back while we are working on the new borehole pump!
[The pictures below show “after” and “before”…the first one shows the situation with which we are currently dealing. We will actually be working on this project this week – 27 January 2011.]