Water in the clinic
We have been blessed at the clinic with a very good well on the property. Even in the dry seasons, like we’ve been having for the past couple of months, there is always water in our well. This is the well and hand pump that provides water for the patients and our neighbors. It is also the sole source of water for the clinic.
We have an electric pump for the clinic that operates from power from our solar panels on the roof. We pump it up to two holding tanks (about 400 gal. each when full) and then it supplies our house, the quarters for the on-duty nurses and doctors, the doctors’ consulting rooms, the emergency room, the laboratory and the five flush toilets for the staff. We also have a man who pumps water and keeps three large drums filled on the second floor where we live. This is used for washing clothes and clinic linens (by hand) and our back-up water source.
Well (no pun intended), since Thursday we’ve been having problems with this system, meaning no running water in the house or any where else in the clinic. The electric pump is pumping but no water goes up to the tanks on the roof. We tried priming the pump (pouring 5 – 10 gals of water into the pipe by the pump), which didn’t work. So, today we had someone extend the pipes deeper into the well to see if that would make a difference. Eureka, we’re finally getting some water in the pipes. But then, to our dismay, we found that several of the taps throughout the building were left open since no water was flowing to let people know they were not closed. And, on top of that, one of the toilets was “running”. (I can hear my dad say, “Jiggle that handle!!”). So all that hard pumped water just ran down the drain! Bummer! Hopefully tomorrow we will have a good amount of sun to charge our batteries so that we can pump all day long! Thought you would like to see some photos of two of girls demonstrating how they get water for their homes (with a little “help” ?? from Matthew). No such luxury of having pipe water in their house. The sign on the wall reminds people not to drink the water without treating it with four drops of bleach per gallon. Untreated water is a primary source of typhoid.