Can water be gotten anywhere and everywhere? Often, this is the question that floods my mind whenever I get closer to a water source which isn’t the sea, river or lake. As a child, I have been fascinated by water bodies such as oasis, wells, springs and streams. Well water in particular, has been the outstanding fascination to me, simply because, though it’s natural, it is humanly constructed. I have seen many wells lasting over hundred years and still producing enough quality water to quench the thirst of an entire community.
Isn’t this fascinating?
I have always dared to find answers to my curiosities, and this water mystery isn’t an exception. As the population of the school grows, so is the demand for good drinking water by these “little angels.” If you want to see how little children consume and waste water, kindly establish a school.
The school uses twenty yellow gallons of water daily for cooking, washing and drinking. This is a huge cost for a school that is educating about two hundred and twenty children without charging school fee. To cut down the cost of water, increase teaching hours and to provide alternative good drinking water for the school, management decided to construct a well. The questions on our lips, can we get water within the four walls of the school? How long can we dig to discover this priceless mineral? And can this water, if discovered, be good for drinking?
Selfishly enough, I want to satisfy my own curiosity of seeing a well constructed. With this clandestine motive, I gave the go ahead for the well to be constructed. I took this decision on Monday, and the following Tuesday being 27th November, 2018 at exactly 5:48am, work began. The engineer, a twenty-two year old man who is famously known as Michael Power, armed himself with just a hoe, cutlass, bucket, rope and a digger to fulfill my long desire. On the first day, I volunteered as his laborer.
Obviously, this was a manual task. He dug the earth whiles some of the children and I pulled out the sand from the pit with the bucket. It was exciting, but tedious work to honestly say the least. We retired for the day after working for four continuous hours under the morning sun. The children, unlike me, were reluctant to stop working. They were more anxious to find water than I had anticipated. Michael Power, after joining the children to enjoy breakfast, left to his house.
On the second day, Michael Power arrived at the school with his father and mother. Though I didn’t like the presence of his parents, I was relieved because the children and I wouldn’t be pulling any soil from the pit. Honestly speaking; Michael’s parents are experts in well digging; together, they have more than thirty years of experience in this technical field. They worked three hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon before closing for the day.
“Teacher, come and view the pit.” The father said in the Ewe language.
I went as instructed to view the pit. I was more careful not to slip into the pit. It was scary. Michael was still in the pit. He told me they cannot continue because the ground is too hard. To help me believe what he was saying, he struck the place with the hoe and “KOOONNE” went the sound.
“Does it mean we can’t find water and have to close the pit?” I asked.
“We are closer to the water that is why the ground is so hard to penetrate.” The father said with laughter.
“So what can we do now?” I asked them.
“Give us two gallons of water. We will pour it into the pit to soften it. Tomorrow, we will smile with salt-less water.” He assured.
I further asked him, “How do you know the water wouldn’t be salty?”
He smiled before answering, “I have tasted the final soil and it is salt free.”
I gave them the two gallons of water. They poured it into the pit and left home.
The next day, as usual, the family reported at the school. It was 7:48 am and the children were at the assembly. Michael descended into the pit, and digging started. He fetches the sand into a bucket whiles the mother pulls it out amid the technical directions of the father. Less than twenty minutes, amid laughing, some of the children signaled me. I turned to see what was happening; and lo and behold, Michael’s parents’ were smiling infectiously. Water has been found within a depth of twenty feet!
Michael and his parents have fulfilled my long desire of seeing a well construction in action. I wish I can find words to describe my joy but it’s indescribable. The community, the school, the children and I are now owners of a well with good drinking water.
We are forever indebted to Michael and his parents for this priceless mineral.