Army engineers from Nottingham dig deep in Sierra Leone to find fresh water
ARMY engineers from a Nottingham base are taking their specialist skills to Sierra Leone.
Engineers from Chetwynd Barracks, Chilwell, will help to provide the Sierra Leonean Army and local communities with a drinking water supply.
The final 13 members of a 19-strong water engineers unit from 521 Specialist Team Royal Engineers (Water Development) were deplo yed to Freetown last week.
They are the only regular unit in the British Army capable of drilling boreholes and are responsible for providing water in remote areas.
Landlords let us advertise your property and find you vetted tenants quickly. Our let only service is £195.
We offer full management services as well as rent guarantee and rent advance. Call us
Terms: No hidden charges, you will be informed of all costs in advance. The letting agency you can trust.
Contact: 0115 8969582
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Andrew Green is the commanding officer. He said: "In terms of deployment jobs this is the biggest job the team has done for about two years.
"Their remote bases are in, or close to, the communities they need to protect. Inevitably they will benefit from it.
"Around 50 per cent of these locations have local communities with them and the other half are soldiers' wives and families.
"From a personal level it feels very satisfying to be able to go and help people. We can go and help countries that haven't got access to resources like we have."
The team will drill nine bore holes up to 60 metres deep and refurbish two existing bore holes.
The Sierra Leone Army has to use shallow wells that are unreliable and villages rely on wells that have been dug by hand in the dry season.
These wells quickly run dry, meaning the communities have to rely on lakes, rivers and puddles for water, which puts them at risk of picking up water-borne diseases.
Captain Geoff Hill, who will lead the team, said: "The installation of the wells will mean better sanitation and hygiene for the Sierra Leone Army and the local communities, which will reduce the number of people who needlessly become ill through water borne diseases."
With each hole drilled the specialist military engineers will fit the mechanical workings and a hand pump.
The Royal Engineers expect to spend six days at each of the 11 sites.
They will be self-sufficient, having shipped out all their vehicles, drilling equipment, life-support equipment including generators, tents, lighting and stores before Christmas.
Six of the company were already based in Sierra Leone and the other 13 flew out on Wednesday last week.
The engineers are due back at the end of March.