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Program Update: First Borehole
Dear Friends of the Azawak,
I apologize for being out of touch. I have been very busy being a new parent since my son’s birth which took place on January 14th. Nonetheless, much has happened with Amman Imman over the past several months, and I’d like to share this inspiring news with you today.
The Tangarwashane borehole, serving the needs of thousands:
After almost a year of fully functional operation, our “Janet Cornelius” borehole in Tangarwashane is working and providing water to thousands of people and animals. By now, all the marshes and most of the deep wells have run dry. People are traveling great distances in search of water, and finding clean and abundant water at the Tangarwashane borehole. Management committee members are doing a fabulous job maintaining the borehole and making water available to all. This news demonstrates that our borehole is successfully serving the very basic needs of the people of the Azawak. We hope that this will serve as a beautiful inspiration for people to continue helping these populations.
Amman Imman is planning a follow up visit next month, where both the mechanical and managerial maintenance of the borehole will be evaluated. I will be happy to share the evaluation report with you once the trip has been made.
Finished Tangarwashane Borehole, Equipped and Beautiful!!!
Dear Friends of the Azawak,
Denis (my fiancé and work partner) and I have returned to France after five arduous yet extremely productive and rewarding months in Niger.
Our very exciting news is that the TANGARWASHANE BOREHOLE IS FINISHED. As many of you know, the borehole was originally equipped with a temporary installment until we had the finances to equip the borehole properly. This has been our primary activity these past five months, and we are so very pleased to announce that our goal has been successfully completed.
The borehole is beautiful, the populations are thrilled, and the water is pure and very easily accessible!!
The borehole is now equipped with a 20m3 capacity water tower (meaning it can hold up to 20,000 liters of water!), 4 animal troths that are 6 meters long, one water fountain with 6 faucets near the water tower, and one water fountain with two faucets in the village. (see attached pictures)
At the same time that construction took place, we also set up the Water Source Management Committee that is held responsible for the proper maintenance, financial, environmental, and social management of the borehole. Everything was done with the collaboration with the regional Department of Hydraulics, committee members were chosen democratically, and they were trained by Hydraulics specialists.
As field supervisor and field activities coordinator, Denis is our field hero. I was unfortunately ubable to join him while all the final work was accomplished because I had to deal with administrative affairs in the capital. While in the field, Denis did everything from supervising construction to organizing community meetings with the hydraulics, populations, prefects, and mayors in order to set up the management committee.
Construction is Denis' field of expertise, and so when the construction was not done perfectly and did not meet his very high standards, he had the construction company start over. Luckily, the construction company -- HYDROBA -- held its own very high standards, and we are very pleased with their work. Their employees worked from 6 AM to 6 PM every day in over 110 degree weather, and always worked with a smile despite the very harsh physical demands and scorpions that kept them up a good deal of the night.
Setting up the management committee was a more difficult task, as this procedure entailed politics and diplomacy, as well as the very delicate training procedure of committee members once chosen. The management committee will most likely need additional training in the future as well as supervision by both Amman Imman and the regional department of hydraulics.
For now, we have left the Tangarwashane borehole to the care and supervision of the populations, in order to evaluate over the next couple of months how things evolve. Indeed, they are enthralled to have clean and easily accessible water. But its not enough to be thrilled… it will be essential for them to properly take care of their water source so that it lasts a very long time, and so that they can take full advantage of the magnificent structure. We will do our best to keep you informed as to how things move along in Tangarwashane, as well as how things progress for our future borehole sites.
I want to address a very special thank you to Denis, who essentially WAS program Amman Imman in Niger these past few months, and was the key component to getting everything accomplished. I want to thank my father, Michael Kirtley and president of the Friendship Caravan who has been the « big boss and primary coordinator » in Niger and internationally for the entire project« . And last but not least, a huge thank you is extended to Janet Cornelius who financed the majority of the Tangarwashane borehole. We have named the borehole in honor of her.
And thanks to you all for your support!
Yours in Peace,