A few months ago my husband decided it might be somewhat profitable to start a nursery. He has been germinating plants and trees since then. However, in order to successfully run a nursery, one needs a very reliable water source and the rainwater collection tank we have simply will not last during the dry season. So, we began to discuss the old well which was dug 15 years ago. Stephen sought out a few contractors and got a few quotes and we began work on unblocking the borehole that was there.
Attempt 1: The first item to attempt at unstopping the well was to bring a truck with a machine that would use pressurized air to blow out the debris in the borehole’s pvc pipe. The workers came and for a whole day attempted to unblock the pipe to no avail.
Attempt 2: A change in strategy.
The well company would attempt to pull out the blue pvc pipes in the ground until they reached the aquifer beneath. They would unblock the pipes and see about re-inserting them. This strategy failed.
Attempt 3: Another change in strategy.
After some days of attempting to remove the blue pvc pipes, the well company decides to hand dig the well. Well diggers are hired to hand dig around the blue pvc pipe. We buy truckloads of bricks and cement and the men begin to dig and build an upside down silo into the ground. They build a basic scaffolding with a pulley to raise and lower themselves and materials into the depths. The work takes weeks. Every few days, I ask if there the end is in site, I get a promise that the end is near, “Four more days.” This goes on for one month.
The workers camp out in yard. They sleep in our chicken house at night. They harvest cassavas from the garden for their meals. They eat jackfruit for a treat.
“What of the original borehole?” I ask.
As the diggers are digging out the blue pvc pipe, one length at a time, each length is compacted, full of rocks, mud, dirt, gravel, sticks and everything imaginable.
An innocent, amicable assessment of how the bore hole came to be blocked would perhaps imagine a blue pipe sticking out of the ground. Random foraging children encounter the anomaly and attempt to discover where the hole leads. What does a child do when encountering such a thing? They throw a few rocks or sticks into the pipe that appears to be bottomless. When the cavity doesn’t fill, they throw in a few more. Eventually, they give up and walk away.
But to stop up an entire 100 ft of borehole with compacted dirt and rocks and sticks!!?? The evidence demonstrates this to be a feat not easily accomplished by curious children.
Local folks have their own understanding of the story which begins 15 years ago when the village gathered to watch the bore hole being dug.
For some time, after that incident 15 years ago, it was the talk of town: the borehole being dug on the property of the young rich man who has gone to the USA. Many feared it. Many wondered how it would impact them and the whole community. Some recited legends of old. Others imagined fantastic stories of how this would end badly for them. Yet the general fearful consensus was that if this young man has this thing and we do not, it cannot ever be a good thing, therefore it must be thwarted, hindered and stopped.
The rest of the story of how the borehole got stopped up is up to the imagination and for local people, the imaginations are very vivid.