2008 Shallow Well Program- Marion Medical Mission
The 2008 work will start in February. With the help of our current field officers and our local church partners, we will hire one Field Officer in 2008. They will recruit Installation Supervisors and well builders, work with the village committees to help them form zone committees, and will help the zone committees identify other additional villages that want help to build a protected water source. We (MMM) will closely monitor the development of the village and zone committees, and of the local maintenance people to insure that the rate of new well installation does not outstrip the development of grass-roots capacity to manage and maintain each village’s shallow well.
We will provide training for the new African personnel that we hire, but on the job training and learning by doing will be even more important. Experienced African staff will work with their newly hired peers to help them acquire the knowledge and skills needed to do their jobs effectively. We have been impressed by the quality of our African staff, and by how fast they have become fully effective in their work.
Well construction will start in September, toward the end of the dry season, when the water table is at it lowest. Under the guidance of African staff, villagers will hand-dig their well, make and fire the bricks to line it, and bring in sand and gravel for construction. We (MMM) will deliver cement (100# bags) to locations close to the new wells. With the help of villagers and trainees, our skilled well builders will line the well with brick and cover it with a concrete slab, ready for the pump.During late September and through mid November, MMM Volunteers (2 teams of 20) will travel to Africa to help install the pump and to dedicate the well, as representatives of the Christians in America who have generously donated funds for each well in each village in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, Africa.
In December 2008 (note: as I write the well program has been conducted each year and an average of 2500 wells have been installed each year), the Project Director will meet with Field Officers to assess progress for the year, and to identify areas where improvements should be made. MMM will prepare a donor report at the end of each year, detailing accomplishments and expenditures for the year, and setting out plans for the next year.
The project will follow a similar work plan in subsequent years. Additional African staff will be hired. New and existing zone committees will work with village committees to plan and build wells for those new villages.
The African staff includes field officers who are university graduates trained in water and environmental sciences. The Installation Supervisors are skilled technicians with a good knowledge of their local areas. The Malawian pump workshop will continue to be under the direction of Mr. Henry Soko. We plan to establish pump fabrication workshops in both Zambia and Tanzania, each managed and staffed locally.
Tom Logan MMM will direct the projects. He will be assisted by Jim McGill, a Presbyterian Church (USA) missionary who is Director of the Protected Water Program of the Livingstonia Synod, Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, and by MMM volunteers Jim Nussbaumer and Jocelyn Logan. These key project personnel have worked together for more than a decade to develop and implement the Marion Medical Mission Shallow Well Program.
An African proverb states, “Water is Life”- “Maji mbu umoyo” in the indigenous language of northern Malawi. That is certainly a true statement
applicable to the entire world in which we live.
May God continue to bless Marion Medical Mission in pursuit of HIS Work.