At 8 am this morning, about thirty Fulani leaders from all over the Bobi reserve came for a meeting in Kilishi camp. We had discovered stolen pumps in existing boreholes and needed to discuss the security of the pumps we wanted to install. After prayer and introductions, I told the story of rotational grazing from the beginning, how the FMA had given Bobi as one reserve where this system could be practiced, that water was a priority and our disappointment to learn that pumps were missing from two boreholes. Sarki Fulani Bello told us that the range manager, (who was present at the meeting,) had taken this pump. The range manager was asked to explain, and admitted only that he had ‘borrowed it.’ He was asked for how long he intended to keep it, as he’s had it for over one year. He said for at least one more year. One old man from that area said the need for water there was so great that he would chip in half the cost of the pipes if we would just buy and install a new pump. I said we would repair the broken pumps, but if we started replacing stolen pumps, it would just encourage people to steal all the more.
We talked of the security of the new pumps about to be installed. The leader from each block, (where there will be a new pump,) stated publicly that he would guard and secure the new pump in his area. All the leaders spoke and promised they had learned their lesson, and wouldn’t allow theft or vandalism to happen again.
Aliyu arrived with the flat bed and drill rig at around 11 am. He and his team set up the rig and began the drill at a location fairly close to the existing well at Kiliishi. Four pipes down, and the part onto which pipes are screwed refused to come loose. When they finally, forcibly detached the pipe using a huge hammer, they discovered that the threads were stripped, and the part would no longer hold the heavy, drill pipes. This is a big disappointment, especially as all thirty Fulani leaders had stuck around to watch the drill. Poor Chief Abubakar, the owner of this compound. He was running back and forth all day bringing these thirty visitors food and water…then to see the drill fail. It was truly sad.
Aliyu has sent to Kaduna for a new part. Who knows when the driver will return?