Clean Water for a Local High School

  • Youth
  • Water & Sanitation
  • Health
  • Environment
  • Education
  • Community Growth
  • Madagascar
This project is led by Gabriel Sandler, a Volunteer from Arizona

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This grant will support the construction of a rainwater harvest system at a public high school in Madagascar. The system will provide a clean water supply for the students, school staff and immediate surrounding community. In partnership with a local organization, students and staff will be trained in the ongoing maintenance and use of the rainwater harvest system. It will provide an alternative to the local water utility, which has an unreliable track record in terms of both delivery and quality of water. The high school is not just a school, it is a community center, a meeting point, an example to the rest of the community, and a space for kids to use facilities safely and publicly. Many events begin at the school, and this is only in addition to the 1300 students in attendance, who are enough of a justification to provide a clean water system. In an ideal design scenario according to historic monthly rainfall statistics, the school will be able to use an average of 2700 litres per day. This represents two litres per student per day. Upon implementation, the completion of this project has several positive impacts: a massive water collection system leading to a reliable clean water supply that takes advantage of consistently high monthly rainfall in this region of Madagascar, a basis of professional trainings for students who will help maintain the system in collaboration with local partners, closely-monitored revenue for the school from extra water sold to the community, an example to other community members of rainwater harvesting. Above all, students will have clean water at school.

The materials used for the system are reliable for 30 years with minimal maintenance, and can be repaired beyond that point. Those responsibilities are addressed in the Memorandum of Understanding and the Water Quality Assurance Plan. Additionally, the school will always have students, meaning there will always be people available to learn about and take care of the system that provides them with clean water. By partnering with a local social enterprise, Peace Corps is taking on the role of an effective and enthusiastic ally, important but not essential beyond initial material support. All of the collaborating groups serve the community and are part of the community. As long as rain falls, the system will collect it. As long as the water is clean, the community will appreciate the harvester’s continual benefit. The sustainability of this project lies in its simplicity, durability and collaborative emphasis. The high school students of the Eco-Ecole will take care of the system, overseen by a local Social Enterprise and school leadership.

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