Thursday, January 13

Well, Well, Well

WaterAid has an excellent picture of a well-made and well-maintained hand-dug well in Zambia. Several things of note:

  1. There is a fence surrounding the well, keeping animals and small children away.
  2. The fence is wooden, meaning locals can easily rebuild it if it is destroyed.
  3. The windlass (the crank) is wooden, meaning it is easily replacable if this one breaks or is stolen.
  4. There well has a durable chain, rather than a flimsy rope.
  5. The container is a durable metal bucket, so it will last longer.
  6. The skirt of the well is cemented, preventing germs from seeping back into the water-table.
  7. The skirt of the well is clean.
  8. The women have placed their buckets on the well's skirt -- not on the lip -- reducing the likelihood of "spilling germs" into the well.
  9. There is a lid which almost entirely covers the well, meaning very little dust, debris, leaves, etc. can get inside.

A Well in Zambia (image courtesy of

Technically, there should be a hinged lid on the cover of the well, so that she can close (and even lock!) the well at night. However, it's rare to see these.

Great job, WaterAid: this is textbook!