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Portable, Inexpensive Borewell Drilling Rigs: Kenya

I am located in Kenya and am looking for a inexpensive portable Borehole digging rig. Most of the boreholes are at a depth of 120ft.  In some cases we require upto 300 ft. I want to import the rig to my country for the charitable purposes. New or used. Please assist with advice.

Mohamed Ahmed Ali



1. A former query on similar

A former query on similar lines that has been answered on the Portal earlier can be accessed here:


Dear Mohamed,

It is not very clear what you mean by portable rig.

All the conventional rigs are mounted on vehicles and they are any way portable. For hard rock areas - DTH rigs are used while the rotary drilling process is used in alluvial terrains. The rates of such drilling rigs can be obtained from different manufacturers which may be cheaper in India than in most places.

However, if you are thinking of very cheap solutions for drilling in hard rock areas and also the normal rigs mounted on vehicles can't be taken there, then the calyx rig is the solution. It consist very simple devices like a motor, tripod, drilling rods and rock cutters, costing approximately around 2000-3000USD.

However, the process of drilling takes longer time than the DTH rig mounted on a lorry. If the formation is very hard then it would take even a month to complete the drilling process using the calyx rig.

These are used in remote forest areas of India where rigs mounted on vehicles can't be taken. The operation is simple and a drilling crew of 4-5 people can operate the equipment.


India has long and extensive expertise in groundwater exploration and exploitation through drilling of bore wells in hard rock areas by the rotary percussion method using Down-The-Hole (DTH) Hammer Rigs.

One Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that is big enough to provide this expertise is Bangalore-based MYRADA (Mysore Resettlement and Development Agency), which was started in 1968 and constructed thousands of dug/bore wells. In tune with the changing times, the emphasis of this NGO has been now shifted from groundwater exploitation to groundwater conservation and other rural development activities including fulfilment of UN Millennium Goals. It has been presently working in three states and providing on-going support including deputations of staff to programmes in six other States in India. It also promotes the Self Help Affinity strategy in Cambodia, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Further particulars can be obtained at

The ideal thing for Mohamed Ahmed Ali would be to contact this NGO at to seek cooperation in extending their expertise to Kenya.

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao
Retired Professor of Geology
Sri Venkateswara University
Tirupati, AP 517502

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao, Professor of Geology Retired, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, AP 517502, India


Dear Mohamed Ahmed Ali,

The decision of drilling technique to be adopted in specific area is depending upon the geological formation of target area. In case your area of operation is predominant by hard rock formation, we would suggest planning for DTH (Down the hole) drilling rig or if it is alluvial formation, it is advisable to select the rotary drilling rig. There are combination drilling rigs also available, but these will be expensive. You may have to enquire locally about the availability of such drilling rigs.

With regards,
S.C. Jain
Action for Food Production (AFPRO)
25/1A Institutional Area,
D- Block Pankha Road, Janakpuri
New Delhi -110058


Dear Mohamed Ahmed Ali,

Various UNICEF continued to support the rehabilitation of water project were undertaken in the region. Hence, for more information you may contact to some local UNICEF staff.

You can refer the list of leading manufacturer and exporter of drilling rigs and DTH drills in India.

Anita Bhatt
WES-Net India


Further to what I have narrated earlier, I wish to further mention that Dr. C.C. Reddy, Advisor to the Government (Foreign Investments and Placement of Human Resources Abroad) had visited East Africa in October 2004 and found that large stretches of barren but fertile lands of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania could be brought under irrigation with the support of the Government of Andhra Pradesh and expertise of the farmers of Andhra Pradesh.

He found the groundwater potential of Kenya to be enormous but unutilised, while it was depleted owing to over-exploitation in Andhra Pradesh. He even made arrangements to depute qualified geologists and geophysicists to locate groundwater besides sending DTH rigs for taking up large scale construction of deep bore wells.

The High Commissioner of Kenya, Mr Mutuma Kathurima, who discussed the proposal with the AP Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, said that the whole Project was viable and was being looked into by the Kenyan Government.

Due to some reason or other, there was however no further progress.

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao
Retired Professor of Geology
Sri Venkateswara University
Tirupati, AP 517502

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao, Professor of Geology Retired, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, AP 517502, India


Dear Mr Mohd Ali,

Am a technical director of a pvt ltd company manufacturing Drill rigs in Bangalore, and havind around 32 years of hands on experiance we can definitely give solutions to you problems like you need the portable rig capable of drilling 150 mtrs depth of 6 inches diameter hole in consolidated over burden and hard rock by DTH method.

The machine we can give is on a trailer and can be drawn by any pickup truck or any jeep, this will come as a complete machine and you can recover your investment faster than the truck mounted machine.

Contact me on

8. Affordable bore hole machines

Hello Mohammed,

We are a Kenya based company that specializes in heavy machinery importation.

We have a huge inventory of  water drilling machines that can be viewed from our website.

Here is the link:

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