Dando’s Water Well Drilling Programme in Borno State, Nigeria

Groundwater is an extraordinarily valuable resource for many reasons.

The quality is normally excellent because the soil and rocks through which it flows help to remove pollutants and it therefore requires far less treatment than river water to make it safe to drink and, because groundwater responds slowly to changes in rainfall, it stays available during droughts when rivers and streams have dried up. Additionally – and of particular importance in the developing world – it can often be found close to villages and therefore removes the costs associated with capturing, treating and piping surface water. Wells can also be sealed to avoid pollution from outside contaminants.

For these reasons, the Nigerian government is investing significant resources in tackling water scarcity by drilling new water wells. The Borno Rural Water Supply (BRWS) scheme is a long-term initiative that will ultimately provide 480 water wells in rural areas within the State, and in 2012 the State government awarded a contract to Dando Drilling International to supply ten drilling rigs and associated equipment together with commissioning and training services as part of the BRWS.

The specification and expectations of the rigs was clear; Borno State required reliable and robust equipment that would work for decades in extreme climate conditions and Dando Drilling International Limited proved themselves to be the supplier of choice having been actively designing and shipping water well drilling rigs into Africa for over 140 years.

Dando Drilling International has invested heavily in workshop technology, the very latest design and manufacturing software and additional highly skilled and experienced staff to reach its goal of becoming one of the foremost providers of drilling rigs for the water sector and this is exemplified in the Dando Watertec range of top drive rotary drilling rigs. The rigs are recognised as being one of the most capable and fit-for-purpose range of water well drilling machines available on the market. In particular, Borno’s rig of choice, the Watertec 40, is capable of a wide range of drilling techniques and is a tried and tested hugely successful deep water well drilling rig designed for drilling large diameter water wells to great depths in some of the world’s most challenging climates and terrains.

With a lifting capacity of 40,000kgf, the rig is favoured by large aid agencies, government departments and private contractors for deep borehole drilling projects worldwide.

With a total land mass of 69,435 square kilometres, Borno is one of the driest north-eastern states of Nigeria with semi-arid climate which consists of three seasons; long hot dry, short rainy and cold; temperatures can be as high as 45C and the surface resources, except for lake Chad, tend to dry up in the hot season.

Maiduguri, the largest city and capital of Borno State, lies on the Nigerian sector of the Chad basin with its dry season lasting longer than its rainy season contributing to serious droughts and levels of desertification. The exploitation of groundwater through the drilling of boreholes has therefore become essential to meet the increasing demand for water of Nigeria’s growing population. Four Watertec 40s have already been shipped and commissioned by Dando engineers in Maiduguri and an entire community in Maiduguri has already started enjoying the services of the new boreholes drilled with all four rigs currently working at various locations in Borno State. Elsewhere in Borno State a water well of 800m using mud rotary technique has been recently recorded and is believed to be the deepest water well in Nigeria to date.

The remaining rigs are now commencing the commissioning and training which will allow them to be deployed in this life-saving project.