You don't need to have travelled to Africa to know that water scarcity poses one of the biggest challenges for this continent:  345 million Africans do not have access to water.

Non-goverment organisatios (NGO) are continuously trying to raise funds that will cover the costs of drilling boreholes in an attempt to access potable water that may be running below the surface.

When they succeed, thousands of lives are improved.

But without incorporating geophysical and geological observations, boreholes may miss the spot by as little as 100 metres and deliver unusable salty water.

with an interest in humanitarian geophysics Associate Professor Jeffrey Shragge from The University of Western Australia knows that to make long-term changes is to provide local geoscience professionals and students with the tools and the training required to be able to conduct geophysical surveys themselves.

A grant from the Society for the Exploration of Geophysics (SEG) foundation enabled Professor Shragge to conduct a two-week pilot study, during which he not only taught geophysics to students from Jomo Kenyatta University for Agriculture and Technology, but also took them out into the field to look for groundwater.

He believes that establishing a geophysical field camp based out of the Krenyan university would be a win-win-win situation: a win for the students, a win for the community and a win for the resource companies which would have a greater pool of local geoscientists top recruit. 

Photo: Jeffrey Shragge during his pilot study in South Kitui, Kenya

A/Prof Jeffrey Shragge
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