The Roundabout Pumpby Elaine Herbert on 03/19/16
For some time we have been experiencing regular shortages of water for domestic use at Mants’ase Children’s Home, a situation that was exacerbated by the recent severe drought.
Largely due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic there has been a rapid increase in the number of orphans and vulnerable children accommodated at the Home. In 2001 the Home could accommodate 20 children, by 2010 the Home could accommodate 50 children and today we can accommodate up to 60 children.
However as more dormitories and bathrooms were built and more children admitted, we were still relying on the same water supply infrastructure that was built fourteen or more years ago. This infrastructure, although still in good working order, was not designed to supply enough water for our present needs. It consists of a borehole (well) from where water is pumped into a reservoir using an electric pump which is powered by solar energy.
This pump therefore only pumps water into the reservoir during the day, and although Lesotho enjoys many sunny days (and Lesotho winters are relatively short) it was well known that a cloudy day during winter spelled ‘no water’, as the water in the reservoir would be completely depleted.
For most of the year, except during the worst of winter, the vegetable garden compounded the problem. The more vegetables we grew, the more water we drained from the reservoir and at the height of summer when the vegetable garden needs more watering, a beautiful, thriving vegetable garden meant less water for domestic use inside.
Thanks to the very generous donation of a new, additional borehole and roundabout pump system, which includes a 2,500 litre storage tank and stank stand, the problem of regular water shortages has now been addressed.
The new borehole is situated in the peach orchard*, next to the vegetable garden, and it should supply more than enough water for the vegetables and fruit trees. We encourage child participation in growing vegetables and spinning on the roundabout will be a fun new way for the little ones to help water the veggies!
And during the worst of winter, when the fruit trees are dormant and there is no need to water the vegetable garden (and because the water from the new borehole is also safe for human consumption) we now have the means to store a reserve supply of water for domestic use.
This donation was a complete package. All the expenses incurred in installing the new roundabout pump system were paid for by the donor for which we are very grateful.
We were also impressed by the care taken to understand our particular water supply problem and the care demonstrated in designing an appropriate, tailored solution.
Before installing the roundabout pump, the borehole was tested. Chemical and bacteriological tests were done, and a step down test was carried out to establish the rate at which water can be drawn from the borehole. The test results were sent to a Geo-hydrologist who certified that the water is fit for human consumption and also provided pump set recommendations to ensure a sustainable flow of water and ease of use of the equipment.
Ongoing maintenance of the system will be performed by a trained, locally sourced maintenance crew and any spare parts that may be needed will also be provided free of charge. Thank you so much!
We would also like to thank the donor’s agents, P&R Pumps in Bloemfontein, who managed this project efficiently and professionally from start to finish. Thank you so much!
We are delighted that the new borehole and roundabout pump should supply all the extra water we need. And we just love that our children have a terrific merry-go-round to play on!
* The peach orchard was donated to Mants’ase Children’s Home in June last year by the Ministry of Forestry and UN Cares. They planted 44 peach trees, which included different varieties of peaches, but unfortunately during the drought we were not able to water the trees and a number of them died. However, the trees that survived the drought appear to be well established now and we look forward to picking peaches later in the year.