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Francis the Engineer

When the pump stops working in rural Malawi it is a big deal, people nervously crowd around speculating hopefully that it is a mechanical fault, no one dares to mention the the harsh reality of the worse case, that it has dried up altogether. Luckily, there is one man in the village who can help, Francis the Engineer. Although he has no official training, single handedly he has brought water to scores of local villages through his ingenuity and hard graft. Painstakingly, through manual excavation and litres of sweat he perfected his own design of "elephant pump" using mud, rope, plastic bottles and bike tyres. As soon as he arrives on the scene the crowd parts, he scratches his head, takes off his trousers and hops into the well. The children peer down into the dark chasm and mass breath is released as the all clear is sounded - the rope has simply fallen off the pulley. Quickly order is resorted, a cheeky wink is fired off to me and my camera and the day carries on. Photo by A Rubinstein-Baylis.
Francis the Engineer
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