Logo Brunnenbau macht Schule
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Brunnenbau macht Schule – an idea worth copying

In German the term “Schule machen” basically means to find someone to copy your ideas. That is the goal of our mobile well drilling schools: To drill wells with the locals and teach them how to copy the idea by doing it themselves so that they can continue to drill wells and teach others to follow suit.

Getting the job done – the mobile well drilling schools

The initiative’s main objective is to increase the number of wells and thereby the number of people with access to clean water in Congo. This can be accomplished through mobile well drilling schools. The role model for this concept was the EMAS project in Bolivia with their first mobile well drilling schools. The schools are mobile because training is conducted on site wherever wells are needed and the technology is easy to transport. The secret to success is the simple manual drilling method and the idea of helping people help themselves.

More precisely: Well engineers and maintenance crews for the wells are trained during the well building process. Not only does this result in fully-functioning wells that supply villages with clean water, it also leads to an increasing number of competent well experts who are able to drill and maintain wells on their own. Jobs are created in the long term and well engineers can establish themselves as small business owners. The goal is for the process to eventually run itself.

Setting up well drilling centers

Hartmut Heuser founded the first mobile well drilling school in 2006 with the support of Professor Jean Nyeme Tese, president of the Kananga University at that time. The school has made considerable progress since it first opened. Two well building centers with their own workshops are now up and running. The centers in Kananga and Ngandajika (DITUNGA) conduct well drilling courses. Each center has a permanent team of experienced instructors who drill wells and train newcomers. In addition to learning how to drill wells by hand, students also learn how to make the pumps and drilling equipment themselves, because at many sites tools and materials are not available. The staff at the centers continue to develop the pump technology. We have been using the extremely durable, high-performing rope pump ever since. However, most of the wells are built at locations outside the centers, more specifically in those areas where people need wells. Because of this development, well drilling specialists always train someone on-site who is then in charge of well inspection and maintenance activities.

We are planning to set up more well drilling centers to help us introduce the hand-drilling method to a larger population.


Course content at the well drilling schools

Basic well drilling training takes about four to six weeks. We also offer refresher courses and continuing education courses.

The training program covers the following:

– Basic geology, hydrology, hygiene and environmental protection

– Basic cost calculation, customer consultation and how to run a business

– Elementary tools and materials as well as metalworking

– How to make your own well-drilling equipment and tools

– How to build hand-operated pumps

– How to build spring catchments, filters and containers out of concrete

– Hand-drilling techniques and how to build a well

– How to install hand-operated rope pumps

– How to conduct talks with village chiefs and consumers

– How to train well maintenance staff