Drilling for drinking water in remote Sipaliwini, Suriname

Author: 
ACT-Suriname
Date: 
Friday, June 24, 2016

In May 2016, Roché Bhola, one of ACT-Suriname's field station managers, traveled for several weeks to the Trio indigenous village of Sipaliwini together with Dr, Anthony Druiventak, geology professor at Anton de Kom University of Suriname and Joanne Perk, a student from the department of mineral resources at the same university.

Sipaliwini is one of the most remote villages in Suriname. It takes two hours to fly there from the capital city of Paramaribo, and it is lacking in modern developments like a source for sanitized drinking water. During the dry season from mid-August to early December, the water level in the Sipaliwini River is at a very low level. Consequently, most of the villagers have to travel almost 2 km upstream to get decent drinking water.

To help address this situation, one of the goals of the team was to identify suitable sites for drilling a well for water with the help of Sipaliwini's five indigenous park guards (IPGs) sponsored by ACT. The team identified several spots close to a nearby creek with clean drinking water, conducted geophysical measurements and began to drill to examine the soil. The team now has sufficient data that is currently being analyzed to conduct calculations and simulations. This data will lay the foundation for the implementation of a sustainable drinking water system in the near future.