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Madagascar : Construction of Wells and Water Towers


Construction of an independent, interconnected water supply system, with 2 wells and 2 water towers, for two buildings owned by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Antsirabe. The so called ’Threeway’ Project.

1. Mission summary:
The aim of this operation was to construct an independent drinking water supply system for a self-sufficient community in central Madagascar.
The nuns who have settled in Antsirabe belong to the order, the Fransciscan Missionaries of Mary of Madagascar. Under the aegis of that order, they seek to prepare teenage country girls for future lives as wives, mothers and citizens of the town. They have set up a hostel for this purpose.
A few metres from the hostel is the noviciate, where the nuns train novices who will in their turn offer help and assistance to the needy. The order thus owns two buildings: the noviciate and the hostel.

Water is the lifeblood of the community.

For life to continue in the noviciate and in the hostel, it is vital that there be water.
This is why HAMAP ENGINEERING and the Rhin-Meuse Water Agency helped to set up a complete, independent drinking water supply system, comprising two water towers, each one fed by a well. An interconnected network was designed and built, allowing the novitiate and hostel to draw water from three different sources: the town water supply, and one or other of the water towers. The latter two sources ensure that water remains free.
This independent water system allows the novices, as well as the young girls of the hostel, for whom the Franciscans Missionaries of Mary care, to drink, to wash themselves, to do laundry and to clean. It also allows them to irrigate gardens and water farmyard animals, feeding themselves, and taking surplus produce to the local market, where it can be sold and the money used to buy rice, in particular.

2. Construction of the water supply system:

Construction work began on February 10 2008.
The firm that the nuns had chosen to carry out the work, ’Tous Corps d’Etats’, did so in a highly professional manner. They followed local and national regulations in ensuring that the water towers, in particular, would withstand the cyclones which ravage the region.
With input from HAMAP ENGINEERING, it was decided to start by constructing the two wells, each descending to a depth of ten metres or so. Each one was piped in and covered with a protective slab. They are independently operated.

An electric pump working at 15 m3/h fills the larger 10m3 water tower before the smaller, automatically, up to a height of 12m. A so called ’threeway’ system supplies the two buildings - the noviciate and the hostel, 55m away - with water from one or other of the two water towers. They can also draw on the town water supply, if necessary.

3. Optimization:

Over the course of the building work, and with input from HAMAP ENGINEERING, some changes were made to the plans in order to optimize the final water system. In particular, the dimensions of the second water tower were reduced, allowing the builders to set up solar panels and so meet the community’s need for hot water.

4. Project visibility:

The help that the project received from the Rhin-Meuse Water Agency was publicized, in a permanent fashion, on a 2 x 3m board painted by a local artist and installed at the top of the larger water tower, 12 m up. This could be seen some distance away. A second board, made by the same artist, was attached to the smaller water tower.
Passers-by can thus see a concrete expression of the community’s gratitude to the sponsor, the Rhin-Meuse Water Agency, and to HAMAP ENGINEERING, which supported this project.

5. Acknowledgements:

This project would not have been possible without the financial support of the Rhin-Meuse Water Agency, or the knowledge and team spirit of HAMAP ENGINEERING: a team spirit that extended to include all the organization’s partners within the community at Antsirabe, at Antananarivo and the Père Pedro association.

On behalf of the president of HAMAP.

The president of HAMAP ENGINEERING.

Publication : September 2008

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