It rained last night and although we have been in Mkwekwe before, still I am a bit afraid the road might be impassable this morning. But it’s not too bad, the car smoothly glides from pothole to pothole.
We are not the only one struggling on the road. At the top of a hill are two cyclists looking back, satisfied smoking a cigarette. Their bicycles heavily loaded with vegetables going to the market. A steep hill lays in front of us as we pass the two a whole bunch of cyclists are pushing their heavily loaded bikes up the hill trying to avoid rocks and potholes.
Colleague Pious and I are on our way to Mkwekwe, a village where we will give an explanation about our water project. We will demonstrate a few types of locally made pumps. We hope that driller Michael is there too. We have not been able to reach him for a week. Pious tries again. Miraculously, Michael takes the phone. ‘I already in Mkwekwe! Where are you? ” I hear him laughing through the phone.
An hour later we arrive in Mkwekwe. Michael climbs on the car and unloads the demonstration pumps. He is going to install the pumps and arranges water so that people can try them. Pious speaks to the village leaders and organizes the meeting with the interested villagers. He invites the women to come closer and join the men, so that they sit around him like a group. Michael invites people to try the pump. The women are a bit hesitant. The children are not, they are not afraid but curious and try the pump first. Then the adults follow.
I am just standing satisfied watching and have nothing to do. I am offered a chair and sit down. Pious explains the project approach and that we will be back in two days. If people want a pump they can come with a good idea about how they think they can earn money with the pump.
By: Rik Haanen