Problem Addressed

In certain settings, low-cost methods of providing water such as hand auguring or water jetting can be effective for remote areas. However, they often lack the necessary robustness and are limited by their inability to pass through shallow ground water into harder substrate and drill to depths past 30 meters. This creates many situations in which these techniques are ineffective at best, and dangerous at worst, as they often only drill into shallow water that is still contaminated.

Conversely, large drill rigs can drill 300+ meters through shallow ground water and hard substrate. However, these machines are limited in their ability to access remote communities connected by poor roads, which consequently limits their service to roughly 15-20% of the population in need. Additionally, the high cost of big rig drilling makes it prohibitively expensive for nearly all local populations.

Innovative Approach

The Village Drill is an innovative technology because it combines the power to penetrate almost any water-bearing substrate with the simplicity and inexpensiveness of manual drilling methods. The organization has enabled local entrepreneurs to create a drilling business that can sustain itself over the long term. Instead of encouraging Western donors to donate a well, the donors instead give the entrepreneur the drill, and the entrepreneur slowly pays back the donor as they collect drilling fees from communities. The technology can now also be shipped worldwide.

The Village Drill

Program Solution

The Village Drill is easy to transport, set up, and operate. It can access communities that most drilling rigs cannot reach. The Village Drill can be driven by truck as far as possible, and then hand-carried to its final destination. It can also drill up to 90 meters (270 feet), or in soils and clays, up to 45 meters per day. The Village Drill is one of the few (and certainly the fastest) manual method to reach these depths.

The Village Drill creates economic independence and improves the health of individuals and communities, because with it they can grow healthier crops and use their time more effectively with the hours previously spent fetching water, including going to school. The low cost and robust nature of the Village Drill allows entrepreneurs to create a viable and sustainable drilling business that was nearly impossible with other manual drilling methods. The drill also improves sanitation because it provides water for toilets and hand-washing. The drill also improves individual/community health because it reduces the use of contaminated open water sources for drinking water. The drill is also effective in increasing farming yields because of increased access to water.

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Partners: World Vision, Samaritans Purse, Reach the children, African Heartwood, World Thirst, Sustainable Missions, Village Water Zambia, Village Drill Kenya, and Village Drill Tanzania.

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