Type of Well: Borehole with Indian Mark II Hand Pump
Approximate Number of People Served: 3200
Location: Msingi Primary School, Tanzania, Africa
Date of Construction: August 2008
Total Depth: 80 meters
Drilling Company Used: Gift of Water, Gift of Life
Water Condition Before the Well: After returning to Kawe in 2007 to see the completion of E.P.I.C.'s first well, Tennille and Alexi met Bibi's daughter, Irene Mkini. Irene told them that while the water conditions in Kawe were bad, the villages close to her home in Iringa were in a rural area, where there was absolutely no access to piped water. Realizing how difficult it had been to keep their promise to Bibi to complete the project in Kawe, both Tennille and Alexi had decided that they were not capable of continuing to provide water to communities in Tanzania. Feeling as though they had taken on far more than they could handle at such a young age, they agreed to visit Iringa, but made no promises that they would ever return.
Tennille and Alexi's first walk for water was in Mangalali, Iringa. Carrying 10 liter buckets of water on their heads, after collecting it from a dirty river, and walking for 1 hour and 45 minutes just to bring back one bucket of dirty water was enough to make them commit to figuring out a way to drill a well in Mangalali. You can watch footage from their experience by scrolling through the collage at the bottom of this page. The quality of the videos alone give you an idea of how long ago it was! But so many of E.P.I.C.'s values, and reasons for continuing to do what they do came from the experiences on the trip to Mangalali. It's amazing how much of that can be seen in those old home videos!
Residents of Mangalali used to collect all of their water from a river that was roughly a 7 mile walk away from most of their homes, wasting so many hours a day walking to and from the river for water that wasn't even clean. The river, which is highly contaminated with animal and human feces amongst other things, was the main cause of water borne diseases that affected roughly 90% of the residents.
Water Condition After the Well: Mangalali has been thriving in so many ways. In addition to the overall health of the community having vastly improved, the school now grows its own crops in the garden that is managed by the students, using the water from the well. The people who have benefitted the most in the community are the women and children. Women, having so much more time on their hands, have been able to start small businesses, women's investment groups, and community expansion projects. Children, no longer having to walk for hours each day to collect water for their families, are doing much better in school, and have seen a vast improvement in their health, and hygiene and sanitation practices.
Zamda, one of the women who formed the water committee when the well was first drilled, has become family to Tennille and Alexi. She has been a massive source of inspiration and work ethic since they first met in 2007. Through Zamda, E.P.I.C. has found other ways to give back to the community, by assisting a local women's group to help provide a wheelchair to a teenage girl (Christina), who has also become part of the E.P.I.C. family. The women's group, through Zamda's leadership, built a protective wall around the well, and have been able to purchase cows and livestock with the extra income they have generated, now that they are no longer spending long hours walking for water each day.
E.P.I.C. returns to Mangalali frequently, and on one trip, kids from the school joined the E.P.I.C. Fellows at the well, and started singing a song about the importance of brushing teeth that Tennille and Alexi taught their older siblings many years before. The kids said that their siblings had passed the song down to them, and that they were doing the same with the younger children in the community.