Water from the Ground, the Geologist and the Drill

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Acqua da terreno in Africa

by Roberto Sinibaldi

Water from the ground. I wish there was … yet there is a French geologist that helps some African villagers to draw water from the ground, by means of a drill, hence, he helps them to significantly improve their standard of living. Before, the villagers have to walk a long way just to get a small amount of muddy water.

This story reminds me the myth of Prometheus, who stole fire from the Gods and gave it to humanity as civilization. The myth is told in a Greek tragedy ascribed to Aeschylus (Prometheus Bound). Zeus, king of the Olympian gods, sentenced Prometheus to eternal torment for his transgression. He was bound to a rock, where each day an eagle, the emblem of Zeus, was sent to eat Prometheus’ liver, which would then grow back overnight to be eaten again the next day.

Luckily, the French geologist had a different fate: certainly the African villagers are very grateful to him.The news is from some time ago. 

The French geologist Jean-Claude decided to spend his holidays in Africa, together with his wife, and he did it in his own way. He decided to drive a Land-Rover, and so far, no surprises.

The original thing was inside the Land Rover’s trailer: a drill. The couple drove around some villages, where they stayed fot some days, just the time to befriend the villagers and their chiefs, with whom Jean-Claude shared his thoughts

He wanted to use some drilling probe, a difficult concept to grasp for anybody who does not know the subject. He told the village elders he was bringing water to their villages: the elders didn’t believe him, they thought it was impossible, anyway, they decided to let him try.

Cores to find water in the ground

Our hero (cause this is what he is) examined, tested, scanned the soil around the villages in order to find the right spots to do the coring work.

The generator set is on day and night: the next morning, water gushes from the soil.

The villagers were elated, excited, Jean-Claude and his wife were very happy, too. After some time, the couple came back to those places: life had changed, improved. Now villagers have vegetable gardens and animals

They don’t need any longer to walk a long way to get some muddy water.

An Example to follow

If one single man does such a thing, this story remains an apologue.

On the contrary, in a general plan of relationships between poor countries and the West, it would reach another extent.

In the last centuries of  colonialism, once declared and now subtly sostantial, we first brought everything away from those countries and then we nearly always proposed quite asymmetrical international plans for our own commercial advantage.

As everybody knows, geololgically Africa is getting some millimeters per year closer to Europe, while socially, tems of million people in the next decades will leave Africa for our continent.

The use and distribution of natural resources are a good indicator to assess incidence of global population.

However, ecological and social problems are interrelated, there is no environmental protection without social justice

We have to start from here.

by Roberto Sinibaldi