Groundwater Relief members Dr Abir Jrad (lecturer in Geophysics from Ghabes University) and Glen Ainsworth (retired Hydrogeologist) undertook an assignment to support Medecins Sans Frontieres Holland (MSF-OCA) at the Mtendeli Refugee Camp in Western Tanzania. The camp accepts refugees fleeing primarily from Burundi. MSF were engaged to establish a sustainable water supply for the camp, which is expected to house 50,000 people before the end of 2016. Water supply is derived from low capacity groundwater resources contained within weathered basalt deposits that historically have been located by vertical electrical soundings (VES). To streamline future capacity of MSF-OCA technical teams, the organization purchased geophysical equipment centred around an ABEM Terrameter LS unit. The purpose of the Groundwater Relief assignment was to provide on-site training in the use of new equipment but also to provide guidance on the principles and basic interpretation of the VES data collected using the conventional Schlumberger expansion method. Several days were spent in the field performing soundings followed by sessions to interpret the data using 1 D resistivity inversion software. The assignment was concluded by the preparation of a basic field manual summarising the training content including, a guide to using the equipment, preparation of data and its basic interpretation.
By making people available to go to the field and train our staff ‘on-the-job’ Groundwater Relief have contributed to increasing greatly the knowledge and capacity of some of our key field staff. This has already proved to be useful in Tanzania and I have no doubt in future interventions as well. We now have some good equipment and some well trained people.
Matt Arnold, MSF-OCA Water and Sanitation Advisor