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Kenya: Training course for water engineers

07-05-1998 News Release 98/18

Water – the fundamental source of life on the planet – is a vital element in the assistance provided by the ICRC and other NGOs to hundreds of displaced persons,  conflict and natural disaster victims, and recipients of medical care.  But the precious liquid is sometimes only found deep in the ground, and for this reason sophisticated drilling equipment and techniques are essential.

From 21 to 28 April the ICRC held a course in Nairobi for its water and sanitation engineers. Engineers from other organizations also took part. Two light drilling machines capable of sinking boreholes between 60 and 120 metres were used. The site chosen for the course – close to Ngong village west of Nairobi – was one where a borehole was actually needed, thus facing the 18 participants with real working conditions. After several problems caused by the complex geology of the site were solved, water was eventually struck at a depth of about 60 metres.  The final depth of the borehole was nearly 90 metres, with an estimated yield of 7,000 litres per hour, enough to meet the nearby villages'needs.

The training course is one of several designed to improve water engineers'skills and increase their knowledge and experience of new equipment, thus enabling them better to protect victims'lives.