went to Togo with a team from Lifewater
International in February 2006 to help train local people in repair
of hand-operated water pumps. We worked near the towns of Kande and
Bassar in central Togo.
villages near Kande are in the Tamberma region, famous for the castle-like
mud and thatch houses...
with idols ...
Baobab trees all around.
towns (like Kande) have public spigots, even high ones to make filling
In the villages where we worked, people get their water from manual hand pumps, ...
or open streams and rivers.
get water in basins and carry it home, sometimes long distances.
village had a gravity fed water system where water came from a spring
up a hillside.
of the village pumps are broken. The most common pump in that area
is called a UPM pump. (Randy Cram, of Rotary Club, Mason City, Iowa
is in the baseball cap.)
of the pumps had been installed during the 1990s, and you could see
they had been heavily used. Most of them were working either very
poorly or not at all. Here we are clearing out weeds around a pump
that has not been in use for a while.
most common problem was that the membrane on the piston inside the
pump, which is the valve of the pump, had disintegrated, and so the
pump no longer worked. One of the pistons is shown below. They are
no longer manufactured.
were able to repair some pumps with refurbished parts. If we were
able to repair a pump...
...it was soon in use.
the Bassar region, some villages had foot operated pumps.
One village we visited had two – one broken, and one working
poorly (low flow rate), so the water line was long.
worked with Peace Corps workers and Rotary Club members to help fund
projects to replace broken pumps with newer, more maintainable Mark
II pumps. A pb-Mark II pump is shown below. This one is in need of
repair, but at least parts are available.
We often met with village chiefs to discuss repairs, and obtain permission
to work on the pumps.
are some of the members of our team -- from left to right, Pastor
Bill Logan and Fred Henderson from Ridgecrest, CA, Pastor Pierre and
Pastor Boutouli from Togo, and missionary Mike Hebert, serving near
Another picture of Pastor Boutouli, Pastor Pierre, and Mike Hebert.
leader Garon Harris.
me, Wayne Niblack.
here are some local people – beautiful, colorful, humble, friendly.
(Pictures from Toulouse, France)