Rick Gregory, Writer

Translating Messages From Heads To Hearts

How to Drill Low-Cost Hand-Dug Wells

We’re headed to the Philippines in a couple weeks and I’d been wondering what my role would be . . .

Over the past decades, Sherry has been my very willing partner as she’s followed me into all kinds of crazy adventures in lots of wild places — like Tecate MX, SW Uganda, South Sudan, and then NE Uganda. This trip, she’s the initiator and headed to work and study at Mercy Maternity Medical Center in Davao City, on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. She’ll serve as a (volunteer) nurse/midwife and student. She was there in 2010, completing a 4-month internship and now invited back. It’s my turn to follow her!

Through this process of planning, I had no idea what I’d be doing while she spent 5 days a week at the clinic. I’ve contacted several organizations, including Clean Water International, and several other organizations with which we’ve had contact in the past. But I also contacted Water For All International (WFA), the organization through which we went to Soroti, in Northeast Uganda in 2011. There, we pioneered the process of drilling small family wells for about $100 each. Colin and Ronnie Rosser came right as we were leaving and created a true well-drilling movement that has seen 800 wells drilled since we left! 

WFA has no wells in the Philippines – and they’re excited at the possibility of developing a well-drilling movement there!

To prepare, I spent the week of April 17-22nd in Paint Rock, TX where Water For All, International is headquartered. It was a wonderful week of refreshing my “skills” as a low-cost, hand-dug well driller. I learned about making new drill bits and hand pumps, and even got to practice my woefully inadequate welding skills!

Here’s a short video of me working at “pounding through rock” in Texas. We got about 5 feet through the rock bed above the aquifer while I was there (we weren’t drilling all day every day).

Looking forward to seeing who we can partner with to potentially bring this low-cost technology to Davao and its surroundings!

We did have lots of fun during this week . . . the little short video below was a little buddy scuttling over my boots looking for greener pastures where there weren’t humans! It’s what the Texans call a “coach whip snake.”

2 thoughts on “How to Drill Low-Cost Hand-Dug Wells”

  1. Awesome work brother Rick,

    Fun watching you practice the digging techniques. I respect your resolve and leadership Rick.

    God bless you and keep up the GOOD WORK 🙏

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