They welcome the idea, though doubt he can pull it off. When his drilling crew finally hits water, the villagers start feuding furiously about the altered walk-to-water hierarchy, and Osborn is eventually forced to fill the well back in. Now the tribeswomen once again spend hours each day trudging to fetch water, and calm has returned.
It’s always instructive to observe the life cycle of the First World aid worker. A wary enthusiasm blooms into an almost messianic sense of what might be possible. Then, as they bump up against the local cultural limits of acceptable change, comes the inevitable disappointment, which can harden into cynicism and even racism, until they are no better than the resident whites they have initially disparaged. Even those like Osborn, who have learned the language and done thorough research, often have their faith eroded by the vagaries of Africa, which can start to look horribly like irrationality...
The jealousy in traditional societies can be extreme if someone garners any sort of advantage. This is the downside of their egalitarianism. When big shots who have made money in the city return to their home areas to build grand houses, these rural mansions are often vandalized and stoned. Of course, anyone who has better crops or cattle is at risk of being accused of witchcraft. And such allegations often come from family members.