Many countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, are described as being in economic water scarcity, for lack of sufficient investment in water resource development. In many cases, groundwater resources are present, but funding to tap this water is insufficient. Developing groundwater through the construction of high-quality wells and boreholes is consequently very important to the water security of nations. It is also very important in humanitarian response, especially given the long-term nature of many humanitarian crises.
In partial response to this situation, the latest edition of the ‘Developing Groundwater’ training course took place at Cranfield University UK in October 2022. The course – which has been running in one form or another since 1987 – combines classroom sessions with site work, and it focuses on the supervision of well drilling and post-construction operations. The course is provided by a team of four experienced tutors with long international experience in the sector, together with five industry partners who supply equipment, expertise, and materials. The course is always carried out fully in-person, so complementing other excellent online training provision such as that provided by Cap-Net.
The training is aimed at experienced development and humanitarian workers and students who expect or intend to have responsibilities for groundwater development programmes in low- and middle-income countries, in long-term development and humanitarian response contexts. This year, 15 participants attended the course, ranging from organisations such as Medecins sans Frontiers, Help - Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe, Container Based Sanitation Alliance and working in countries such as Zambia, Uganda, Mali and South Sudan.
Quotes from participants included:
“Extremely grateful for all the effort and generosity of the teaching and contributing organisations. Special course that will stay with me in my career, I’m sure.”
“The course leaders were very knowledgeable and getting physical practical experience is invaluable in these sort of works.”
“Very well put together and run course. Very impressed by the offering and not aware of anything else like it available in the UK.”
The course is organized by RedR UK, Groundwater Relief, and Cranfield University. Additional tutors are provided by Peter Dumble Hydrogeology and Richard Carter and Associates Ltd. The all-important site work was made possible this year by WJ Drilling, Dando, Palintest, In-Situ, Geomatrix, and Boode. For the first time this year, a professional film crew was on site, sponsored by Seequent and staffed by Napoleon Creative.