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Difficulty in constructing the well

Hi, my name is Shudo, I am a supporter of JEN Sri Lanka. About one month has passed since I came to Sri Lanka and I’ve gotten used to the hot climate and local meals.

Now, in Sri Lanka, the well construction of this term has begun.

The problem we face first in well construction is the inflow of ground water at work. As rain water springs out, we are forced to drain the water while digging. In order to avoid this, we try to carry out construction during the dry season. Even during the dry season, water sometimes gathers affected by the height of ground water or sudden showers, so we have to continue the work draining off water by human power or machinery.

The problem we face second is the nature of the soil. When the ground is solid, the excavation method is adopted, where concrete blocks are piled up after digging the ground from its surface at one try with an excavator is adopted. However, when the ground is soft, a different method called a step-down method to lower the well itself little by little constructing the wall around it is adopted.

[The step-down method - they are digging down the well piling up blocks]

The other day, an accident happened at the area where the latter method was adopted. The well went down and caused a crack of the wall. 
The reason may be that workers gave priority to speed and efficiency in order to have finished the work as soon as possible before the rainy season came. In other areas, however, the work in the same process as this went smoothly without any problem. We fully realize how much the well construction depends on environment.   

[The crack brought about in the step-down process]

As the result of talking between JEN’s engineers in charge and constructors, they tried to dig out by human power so that they could dig the surroundings of the well evenly without giving shock to the foundation of the well and lower it at a slow speed keeping the level. Consequently, the work proceeded without any cracks, so we decided to dig out all 13 wells not with machinery but by human power in this area.

[JEN’s engineers are talking with builders about the solution to the cracked well]

[Workers are digging down by themselves]

The well is indispensable for people to engage in agriculture smoothly in the area where they have limited access to water.
The phrase “For such a construction as this, we have to go on digging by human hands” sounds primitive; if possible, we dare to say “we have to dig by human hands”’ not being afraid of misunderstanding. This is, however, the best way we chose after talking on the spot and we think it as desirable.

We only wish this construction will go on without running into difficulties from now on. The accident this time made us become aware that when engineers and constructors go on with the well construction through giving advice to each other and co-operating, we’ll be able to supply people of the community with wells satisfactorily.

【JEN is now accepting donations. Your help would be very much appreciated.

August 18, 2016 in Sri Lanka |