May 25, 2022
Most of Haiti's land is rocky and mountainous, so it was important when selecting a drill rig that Water For Life went with a robust design that could handle the rugged terrain. When the truck is on its way, the whole village goes to work chopping away brush and cacti with machetes to make a path wide enough for the car to get to the drilling location. They also use shovels to fill in any holes and ruts.
"When we drill, it always attracts an audience. The whole village comes out to watch!", Troy says. "As soon as they see water flowing from our pipes, a huge cheer goes up, and there are smiles all around. It's always an inspiring and gratifying moment."
Troy joined the team in 2007 and moved to Haiti, where he now lives full-time with his family. Water For Life in Haiti has a staff of about 65, so it also provides stable jobs for locals. In addition to the DB40, they also have a T2W and a Hurricane 2000. While Troy is drilling in Haiti, his uncle Leon Miller, the organization's CEO, does administrative work from Iowa. Leon grew up in Iowa, where he learned the drilling business from his father, starting at age 14. He could have made a good living as a driller in Iowa, but he says, "Back in 1982, God called me to Haiti." Leon has spent decades in Haiti and explains that in addition to their need for water, the people of Haiti also have a spiritual thirst. "Drilling a well opens the door to share the gospel. It proves we care. The impact on the community can be both physical and spiritual. Many churches and schools have opened in the villages after we drilled the wells."
Troy loves the support he gets from Epiroc and the performance of the Diamondback DB40. He used to operate a T2W, which they still use. "The T2W sold us on the company", Troy says. "I started off on this brand, and it spoiled me! With the DB40, there are more opportunities to complete projects. It's quick to get set up—we can be up and running in 15 or 20 minutes. And it's easy to get around on the decking, so the crew's not bumping into each other. The switch from air to mud is 7ft off the ground, and I like the catwalk for reaching the switch, which was a big surprise. It's electric, so it runs smooth and quiet. That makes communication with the crew better, improving safety and productivity. I like the electronics to control air pressure, and we can dial it down to be more fuel-efficient by using one motor instead of two. The computers can diagnose a problem in less time. It has lots of power to get up steep hills, and the ground clearance is good. We don't bottom out in dips, ravines, and river crossings." To sum up his praise for the DB40, Troy told us, "It's done everything we needed it to do and then some!
So far, Water For Life in Haiti has drilled over 2,000 wells and significantly improved the way of life for thousands of Haitians—but millions still don't have clean drinking water.
To learn more about Water For Life in Haiti and contribute to their mission, visit https://www.wflhaiti.org/