Contact Us Press Releases AFRICOM Portal
Seabees Construct Well, Relieve Thirst in Horn of Africa
After 19 days of 24 hour operations, Seabees assigned to the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74 Detail Horn of Africa's (Det. HOA) Water Well Team completed construction of their first well in the village of Jedane, Ethiopia, on
JEDANE, Ethiopia - Petty Officer 2nd Class Kevin Clayton (left) and Petty Officer 1st Class Dennis Hill, Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74 Detail Horn of Africa's (Det. HOA) Water Well Team, test the pump on their recently completed water well in the village of Jedane, Ethiopia, February 15, 2011.  The 302-foot-deep well provides clear water to more than 3,400 locals and their livestock. NMCB 74 Det. HOA is deployed to support Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa in building partner nation capacity and promoting regional stability through construction engineering support in accordance with the U.S. Maritime Strategy. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Finnicum)
1 photo: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 1: JEDANE, Ethiopia - Petty Officer 2nd Class Kevin Clayton (left) and Petty Officer 1st Class Dennis Hill, Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74 Detail Horn of Africa's (Det. HOA) Water Well Team, test the pump on their recently completed water well in the village of Jedane, Ethiopia, February 15, 2011. The 302-foot-deep well provides clear water to more than 3,400 locals and their livestock. NMCB 74 Det. HOA is deployed to support Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa in building partner nation capacity and promoting regional stability through construction engineering support in accordance with the U.S. Maritime Strategy. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Finnicum) Download full-resolution version
After 19 days of 24 hour operations, Seabees assigned to the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 74 Detail Horn of Africa's (Det. HOA) Water Well Team completed construction of their first well in the village of Jedane, Ethiopia, on February11, 2011.

The well will provide water to more than 3,400 locals who had previously been walking more than 2,000 yards to draw water from a 15 foot hole in the ground.

The team arrived in December and began drilling January 24, with the crew divided into three five-man tours - pronounced as "towers" - and worked around-the-clock for 19 days. Chief Construction Mechanic Tim Taylor, the team's assistant officer-in-charge, said that to strike water, the team had to drill through dirt, clay, and tough layers of granite to a depth of 302 feet.

Despite initial setbacks during the initial drilling process, Taylor modified two water pumps to work in unison, a spark of ingenuity that generated enough power to keep the tours drilling.

"The bore-hole was drilled once with a nine foot seven-eighth bit and then reamed with a '12' and one-quarter inch bit to 260 feet. During our second pass with the '12' and one-quarter inch bit, the mud pump gave way at 238 feet," said Taylor.

After tests for hydrogen and chloroform revealed that the water was suitable for human consumption, the team completed construction of the well, which also contained a water trough for livestock.

Abdi Qadir, Jedane's Deputy Tribal Chairman, attended the well's opening gush.

"This is a good day for us" he said. "It's so wonderful to have clean water, and I am very happy for this well because my people are very thirsty." said Qadir.

Jedane leaders are currently considering drafting plans to install an electric water pump in the near future.
PARTNERSHIPS OPERATIONS READINESS