Cheku Water Project

The Cheku Water Project started in 2007 at Queen Victoria School, a small inner-city elementary school on Vancouver's east side. The entire school completed an extensive, school-wide, interdisciplinary study of water which taught the kids to be socially aware and compassionate. As a result of this process, the idea of raising funds to help build a well in Africa was born. Pen pals and a sister village relationship between the school community and the village of Cheku, Tanzania was established with the help of Kondoa Cultural Tourism Enterprise's executive director, Moshi Changai. The small school community raised over $20,000.00 to dig a borehole and with a grant from CIDA were able to install a solar powered pump that is currently working today. Emails were sent to the community by Moshi about the day to day development of this process that you can read about.

School Plays

One of the many things that we did to create awareness and fundraise for the project was create school plays that helped the whole community understand what the kids were doing and learning through the arts.

Phase 1: Water Survey

Successful completion and Paid
Final Cost: 
$5,500.00 CND

1. Magnetic Measurement and Data Collection
2. Resistivity Surveys and Data Evaluation
3. Hydrogeological / geological Data Collection and Correlation
4. Field Report

(Technical Details)
Feb-2008-Field-Report (Moshi’s Report)

Research Documents

Phase 2: Digging and Drilling

Successful completion and Paid
Final Cost: $15,500.00 CND

This phase had the most unknowns but through the survey we knew that there was a likely chance that water would be available. After 9 months we finally had a hole that would be able to supply good clean water to the people of Cheku Village.

Hydrotech Quote

Signed Contracts

Final Reports
May-2009-Hydrotech-Data (Hydrotech Report)
May-2009-Pump-Test (Hydrotech Report)
May-2009-ngwazi-water-analysis (Hydrotech Report)
Borehole-Expenses (Financials)

PHASE 3: Pump Installation

Successful completion and Paid
Final Cost: $16,222.12 CND

We received a CIDA grant and installed a solar powered pump using the Arusha company Power Providers.  The village built 2 reservoir tanks and fencing around the panels to protect the panels.  The pump and tanks are currently working well and providing water to the community of Cheku Village.

CIDA Contracts
January 2011 CIDA Proposal
February 2011 Signed Contract
March 2011 Company Contract
Government of Canada Anti-Corruption
Government of Canada Project Approval
Government of Canada Signed Documents

Power Providers
January 2011 Water Tank Quote
January 2011 Pump System Quote
Pump Sizing Report (40m dynamic head)
Water Meeting (In Swahili)

Other Quotes for the Pump
October 2010 Energy Alternatives
April 2010 Solarworks
November 2010 Helvetic

PHASE 4: Well Maintenance

Successful completion
Cheku village currently maintains the well

The village of Cheku currently maintains the a working solar powered well. A faulty pump was replaced by Power Providers at one point because sand was getting into the gears. It was reinstalled at a different height to eliminate the issue of sand and currently it runs well. One issue that can be addressed at some point is that an extra battery pack would be beneficial to keep the pump working over night so that the reservoir tanks could be filled while there is no sun.

In 2013 one hundred trees were planted near the water project site and in 2015 (one year later) 64 of those tree are thriving and growing.

Cheku Borehole Specifications

The test for the Cheku borehole were conducted on October 24th, 2009 and it has been determined that the water quality is good. The total well depth is at least 78m (55.48m of plain well-casing plus 23.36m of screen well-casing) and possibly up to 100m; the report is unclear about the exact depth of the well. The well-casing appears to be 5" in diameter. The static water level (SWL) or the depth to the water appears to be 25m. The spec for the 53m "depth of open hole", appears to be the amount of water in the well. Since the water table can vary a small amount with heavy use, this explains why it is indicated to be 55.9m for the second test. Since the well is 78m deep, they have recommended installing the pump at a depth of 75m, which was the depth of the test pump.

Important Borehole specifications:

Well casing bore hole size = 5"
Total well depth = 78m
Static Water Level (static head or depth to water) = 25m
Refresh rate = 2000L/hr (8-9gpm)
Location: 05.09490-S Latitude, 35.86630-E Longitude

Cheku Borehole Testing

The first test shows the water was located at a depth of about 51m, which is much lower than the following tests, so it's possible something changed in the well once the testing began. The first test pumped water at a rate of 2000L/hr for a time of 32min and the water was drawn down 23.65m.

In the second test, the water was pumped out of the well at a rate of 2000L/hr for a time of 330min and after 165min, the water level stopped dropping. The water depth was a total of 53m and the water was drained down to 51.1m, which means there was another 1.9m of water depth maintaining the 2000L/hr pump rate. This indicates the water table is at a total depth of about 76m (25m to the static water level plus 51.1m to the point where the water level stopped decreasing).

In the third test, the water was pumped out of the well at a rate of 3600L/hr for 60min to a depth of 63m.

In the fourth test, the water was pumped out of the well at a rate of 2000L/hr for 330min again and after 165min, the water level again stopped decreasing at a total depth of 76m, which confirms the results of the second test.

This means it is reasonable to believe the water table is at a depth of about 76m and it can produce at least 2000L/hr (8-9 USgpm). It is reasonable to believe the Cheku water table is at a depth of about 76m and can produce at least 2000L/hr (8-9 USgpm).