Daniel Ishaya (YES '10) was the project leader for the Rehabilitation of Boreholes Project in the Gombe State of Nigeria. The project began in March of 2017 and was made possible by the United States Embassy.
Members of the Gombe Chapter of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Alumni Association of Nigeria collaborated with a team of technicians to fix 20 boreholes in Gombe State, Nigeria.
Boreholes are deeps water wells meant to act as alternative sources of clean water. They are essential to communities in which boreholes are the only affordable source of clean water.
Lack of adequate water resources is a common issue in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to Ishaya, the majority of illnesses in these rural communities are associated with unclean water.
Other YES alumni participants involved in the project included: Ibrhim Ezekiel (YES alumnus 2006-2007), Ishaku Abner (YES alumnus 2009-2010), Habib Tela (YES alumnus 2013-2014), Esther Bila (YES alumna 2014-2015) and Patience Habila (YES alumna 2014-2015).
Most of the boreholes were damaged due to worn out pipes, rods and barrels. Some of the boreholes were also blocked by dirt that accumulated during the non-functional period. During the repair process, pipes, rods barrels and leather caps were replaced on the damaged boreholes. The dirt was also flushed out, which increased the depth of the boreholes.
Before the program concluded, the technicians revisited any boreholes that were still not functioning properly after maintenance was completed. The communities surrounding the boreholes were instrumental in the completion of the repairs. Rather than having to hire help for the excess labor needs, locals volunteered to help technicians restore and repair the boreholes.
As part of the program, locals at the site of each borehole were given instructional orientations on how to maintain the boreholes moving forward. They were also encouraged to raise money to repair the boreholes in case of future damage or disrepair.
“We are grateful to the government of the United States of America for reaching out to us with such a wonderful help at the right time of our need and we are happy to see young people of our community having good and positive thought towards our community,” said one local.