School Water Catchment System

  • Education
  • Youth
  • Women & Gender
  • Water & Sanitation
  • Tanzania
This project is led by Madeline Campbell, a Volunteer from Wisconsin

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The 914 students and 48 teachers at the local Secondary School consistently experience a water shortage, causing many students, specifically girls, to miss class while fetching water. The water obtained is not clean or safe, which leads to more absences due to disease. The school headmaster and project committee leader proposed a system of gutters to collect water into two 10,000L plastic tanks to provide a closer, safer alternative to water from the river. This will allow girls to spend more time in class, rather than fetching water or home due to water-borne illness. A new water source will ultimately allow the students to take part in a WASH seminar, to increase sanitation knowledge and improve school hygiene. A craftsman can install the gutters and tanks over the course of one week, after the requisite materials have been obtained, and the project committee of school staff members will closely supervise its implementation. To monitor the effectiveness of the project, the committee will observe the number of students seen consistently washing their hands, as well as the number of absences due to illness. If funds are needed in the future for any repairs, they can be obtained from the A-level students’ monthly tuition; the school maintenance manager, another project committee member, will be the contact point for any necessary repairs. The school community will be contributing sand, stones, and cement, and a financial contribution. These funds will come from the A-level student tuition, as well as profits from school projects, such as a shop, school farm, and selling chickens and eggs.

To make sure the tanks are still full during dry season, the system will be connected to the school pipes to fill them on days when water is running at the school. To obtain funds needed for any necessary repairs, the monthly fees from the A-level students can be diverted to cover the costs. The school maintenance manager, will monitor the tanks to report any damages; from there, he will also direct and supervise the repairs made. Finally, the improved sanitation practices will continue even after the volunteer has left because the students that originally received the WASH seminar will act as role models for students in the future, making a sustainable change in the school environment.

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