John has been hard at work on the Bishop Ngalamu Theological College water project over the last few weeks, and water is now flowing into the tank! Praise God!
We learned a lot from the Hai Salaam water project, and we are still learning a lot about working as water engineers in Mundri, Sudan.
At BNTC instead of building a new tank, we rehabilitated a tank that was abandoned on the college campus. The picture above shows John and Michael checking out the structure a few months ago. I was on the ground since I am afraid of heights. =)
I took this picture of the tank yesterday. It may look like the tank just got a new coat of paint, but I can assure you that there was a lot more to the process getting the tank ready store water and connecting the water pipes the tank.
We started by removing the riser pipes and hand pump from the borehole. Some of the pipes in the borehole were the blue PVC pipes we brought to Sudan last year as a trial. It turns out that the pipes crack often when the water office staff use their normal tools to remove pipes from the boreholes.
Kids gathered around us as the work continued for most of the morning.
John did the final wiring on the solar panels on the roof of a building near the borehole. For now the wire crosses from the roof over the road to a large tree and then goes down the tree into a trench in the ground. In the future we will probably bury the wire at a depth of at least 1 meter under the road.
On work days it seems that usually around 1 pm just when you think you can finish all the work before lunch which is around 2 pm in Sudan, something goes wrong. As the pump was being lowered into the borehole, it got stuck about half way down. It wouldn't go any lower, but it also wouldn't come back up. We stopped the work, prayed, and sent the water office staff to town for their lunch break. After confirming in the final depth of the borehole to be sure we hadn't hit the bottom, we decided to just pull really really hard until the pump came back up. Praise God it came back up, because I really have no idea what we could have done if it was truly stuck. We found that a metal hook that is attached to the pump was too wide to enter into the lower section of the borehole. The hook is used to tie a safety rope to the pump so that if the pipe breaks the pump won't fall to the bottom of the borehole, and you can then raise the pump with the rope.
We bent the hook into a flatter shape, and then the pump was lowered into the borehole with no problems!
It was almost 4 pm by the time we got everything connected and water started flowing out of the tap. Well, it was trickling out. We have some troubleshooting to do over the next few days since it seems that we have a problem with the connections at the solar panels.
This morning we were at Hai Salaama for prayers and to dedicate the Hai Salaama water project in the name of Jesus Christ. BNTC is near Hai Salaama so John rode over on his motorbike and there is now water in the storage tank!
Praise God for the water that is flowing at BNTC! We still have to build several taps and dig several hundred more meters of trench, but it is always a great moment when water starts flowing into the tank.