We’ve been in the middle of testing the waters at Moheto lately, and there’s a sense of urgency because of the recent cholera outbreak there. We want to be able to gather data on Moheto’s water sources as quickly as possible so that we can give farmers there the information they need to make informed decisions. We also want to have this information so that we can start a dialogue with the community in order to start constructing solutions together.

However, we had a little setback this week when our hand vacuum broke in the middle of testing – see photo above.

According to Murphy’s Law, this hand vacuum broke in the most spectacular fashion AND while our Field Managers were trying to show the Field Officers how to do water testing. I hope our Field Managers didn’t lose too much credibility. As you can see in this picture, the handle broke clear off the hand vacuum. Despite valiant efforts to duct tape it back, it was beyond hope.

So, obviously, one lesson to learn here is to have a back-up vacuum. After I rushed in an order of 2 hand vacuums, I thought about different ways we could still salvage our testing timeline. After racking my brain for a bit, I thought about flipping a bicycle hand pump. There are a lot of bicycle pumps around town, but it was already dark when I sat down to mull over this problem. There wouldn’t be enough time for me to go into town, jerry rig a bike pump, AND go collect test waters with my field managers the next morning. I would have to make it at night. So, sheepishly, I asked our teammates to see if they had any hand pumps. Next thing I know, Lindsay, our Health Program Manager, busts out with a slick looking Serfas handpump that had been accidentally left in her bag. You can see the results for yourself in the video above.

Thank you Serfas for making pumps that can be dismantled! Pretty high quality build too, I might add. But, the important thing is that we’re still on track to share our test data with the farmers, and start talking about solutions together.