By Nana Grosse-Woodley
Water is the source of life – and it is no different for Mbulia. Part of the reason why the Mbulia area is still undeveloped is because there is no reliable water source. There are a few seasonal rivers and during the rainy season huge amounts of water come gushing off the top of the hill, but there is no permanent water.
Since the onset of the project we had to ferry water in on an almost daily basis with jerry cans and drums and whatever else we could find that would hold water, such as cool boxes and used water bottles, but this won’t do for building, neither will it be workable when clients start staying at the camp.
Ahead of the project’s onset we had a water survey done which projected very positive signs for a productive borehole right at the site of our base camp and another site slightly further away. We were more than hopeful that a borehole was going to be the solution to our water problem. First the drilling rig could not get to site for a few months as the last rainy season was productive in the Mbulia area and the rig would have been stuck due to its tonnes of weight.
Finally got to sight and we were counting the days that it would take to finally have water on site. The rig was set up and shortly after the work begun – the earth started to shake and we were soon covered in the finest dust from ground rock. Snakes left the vicinity and have not been seen since. Unfortunately, the rig hit 100 meters at the proposed site without finding any water at all. At this point the drillers aborted the drilling as the survey had said if there was water it would be before 100 metres of depth. The second site did not give us any water either.
Very disheartening news, as we so much believed the borehole would give us the needed water and it was badly needed funds paid in vain. We are now in discussions with the Mzima Pipeline and we can have an off take from their pipeline, but still have to work out exact distances, levels and costing for piping, holding tanks and pumps.