The land in Bokiat is not owned by the people who live there. Everything belongs to the municipality and will remain so as long as the local government will not divide the land into lots that can be sold to the inhabitants.

Until then the residents are only occupiers, not the owners, even if their families have lived there for generations. All the land belongs to the municipality because the inhabitants are not in possession of a written certificate of property. This is the problem.

And this seems deeply unfair. These poor people have been trying for years to obtain a certificate of property for their own homes through an endless bureaucratic process, and with no success, despite promises from petty politicians and money spent fruitlessly on applications and fees.

My remedy seems indirect but is quite simple: dig a well, place the turbine pump on top of it, and build a tank with 10 big taps.


A fence must be built enclose the structure, so that the children cannot climb on the masts of the turbine, which are 12 meters high, and also to protect the well and the tank. But the water-dispensing taps will remain outside the fence.

On the masts I will place my small (12-volt) electric wind turbine, which will enable the local residents to recharge their phones and radio batteries without having to go into town to do it.

On the roof of the tank I will put my solar water heater, so the locals will be able to save on the coal they use and heat water for cooking and bathing. For them it will be an economic gain, and for all it will be an ecological one.

I will also have to build a small house for the guard and provide an annual budget for his salary, as well as for the maintenance of the windmill, the well, the tank, and the house, which will need repair after every rainy season. This is the price for a priceless wealth in the desert—water in abundance and without effort.

It is clear that I’m not going to build all this on public land. I must therefore ask the municipality to allow me to buy the land where the residents asked me to build the well.

Now my next move is to pay a visit to the mayor and ask him to sell me that piece of land.

Previouse episode: “Doctor Bagayako”                                                             Next episode: The perfume hospital


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