Pennywell Farm
Pennywell Farm



























Hands on demonstration can been seen at Pennywell Farm

in Buckfastleigh Devon England. For those interested in gaining knowledge on the Percussion Drilling and the Micro Pump

please contact the office of Seedsowers for details.

In a previous mission Seedsowers team returned from Malawi after successfully sinking two boreholes and capping an open well and installing a pump to make it safe from outside contamination. Most of the funding for this project was supplied by the Pedmore Trust.

The boreholes were sunk using a recently developed technique pioneered by ‘Water for All’ in Bolivia. This method of sinking boreholes is low tech and is a manual process. The drilling rigs themselves can be manufactured in the country in which they are to be used as they are made up of components that are readily available around the world.

The first borehole was sunk to a depth of 9 metres. Although we wished to go deeper the team encountered a rock layer which could not be penetrated. The borehole was lined and a pump fitted; the depth of water in the borehole being one metre deep, which at the end of the dry season is reasonable.

The second borehole to be sunk was in an area where the only water source was a small dirty river which is heavily contaminated by animal faeces. Again we encountered a rock layer at 9 metres but this time managed to punch our way through it to 14 metres. On trying to swage out the borehole with a small size reaming tool to open up the borehole, [ two swaging runs are required to open up the borehole to receive the plastic liner and filter,] we encountered the rock layer again. Although we eventually broke through this layer, again the reaming tool got stuck underneath the rock layer. A superhuman effort was required to retrieve it from the borehole. It was decided not to attempt any further swaging as there was every possibility that the drilling stem with the next size  reamer would again be captured in this rock layer and the borehole would then have to be abandoned. Although we were not happy about it we thought it was the safest thing to do as again there was water at the 9 metre level. As it was late in the day it was decided to prepare and insert the filter and liner next morning knowing that the borehole was only wide enough to take the liner and filter down to the 9 metre mark.

The next morning the first 6 metre length of liner was prepared and inserted. Expecting to have to cut the second 6 metre length at the half, way mark it was tentatively attached to the length already in the borehole and gently lowered. Imagine our surprise when we found that the whole 6 metre length continued down the borehole past the 9 metre barrier. Somehow the hole size in the rock layer had grown overnight and we know it could only have been God who could have done this. There was now 12 metres of liner down the borehole. A further metre was added giving a depth of 13 metres, 5 metres of which was water. This is exceptional at the end of the dry season and virtually guarantees that the borehole will produce good quantities of water all year round.

During our visit to this village we managed to seal an open well and insert a filter and liner together with a pump, to make it safe from contamination.

The pumps used were ‘Canzee’ pumps supplied by Richard Cansdale of Newcastle. These pumps are all plastic and are simple to maintain. They are specially designed to have very low maintenance and can easily be maintained by the villagers themselves.

Both borehole No 1 and borehole 2 will need developing by the villagers who will need to continue pumping them until the clean water emerges. Unfortunately we ran out of time to be with them as this can take up to a week to develop. We are confident that they can do this for themselves. Likewise we are confident that they can finish off the pumps with the building of the appropriate aprons. 


During the visit the team were able to spend a short time in Nhudzi Village where we installed a borehole and rehabilitated two boreholes the previous year. The pump on the borehole needed some attention after its heavy use during the year. We managed to remedy the problem in a short time and the pump is now functioning normally.


We were granted funding for 15 boreholes which were drilled in 2019 in the rural area on the outskirts of Blantyre, Malawi. During 2018 4 boreholes and pumps were installed in South Lunzu, near Blantyre sponsored by the Friends of Malawi Association (FOMA). 


Currently funding has been obtained to provide 24 boreholes for the Anglican Southern Diocese parishes around Blantyre working with the youth of these parishes.