From the 9th April I will be working in Sierra Leone, developing an appropriate and accessible way to dig water wells in developing countries. The process I’ll be working with is percussion drilling, which involves repeatedly dropping a heavy drill bit into the ground to break up and remove material from the hole. Currently the equipment used to do this is too expensive to be widely accessible to people living in developing economies. So my primary goal is to develop a version of this technology that can be built at an appropriate cost by local manufactures using locally available materials.
The project has been set up with UK based charity “Developing Technologies” that designs, develops and transfers appropriate technology in order to relieve the effects of poverty. I will be working in partnership with Rural Water Aid, a local NGO that approached DevTech to come up with drilling equipment that was quicker than digging by hand but less expensive than commercial equipment, whilst being maintainable with locally available skills and materials.