Is the water safe to drink? Fixing boreholes & monitoring water quality

Girls on bikes


We took in part in  borehole monitoring which involved surveying boreholes in the local area to asses whether they were functioning or not. We went out in teams to check the status of known boreholes and help repair them. This survey also allowed us the opportunity to monitor the quality of the borehole water.

Bryony at work with the field testing kit

Bryony at work with the field testing kit

Using a field kit the water was tested for faecal coliforms and in particular E.coli, with some very alarming results, with some water sources showing heavy E.coli contamination.

Work like this allows identification of contamination so that action can be taken which will  help to provide safe water to communities, as a single borehole can supply 100s of people (Bryony Down)

Patricia Lund

I teach on cell biology, human genetics and cancer biology modules in the Department for Applied Sciences & Health (DASH). I have organised a work experience trip to Malawi (first one in August 2014) using contacts and experience from my field work in Africa and started this DASH to Africa blog to engage all our students (and others) in our international engagement.
More about my research: studies on the genetic condition albinism in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Ghana have been wide reaching with multiple partners and funders. Information has been gathered on the frequency of albinism in different populations, mutations in the gene causing the condition, sun protection strategies adopted to reduce the risk of developing sun induced skin damage, health (especially genetic) care for this vulnerable group, education (mainstream versus special schools) and social perceptions (and misconceptions) about albinism in African communities. These multi-faceted studies have been enriched by collaborations with local albinism associations in Africa and. I have also been privileged to meet many families with albinism.