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Madibira, Mbeya Region, Tanzania
Madibira is a large and thriving village in the Mbeya region of the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. It is far removed from any large cities in Tanzania, but it is not too isolated.
The 2002 census showed 28, 414 people living in the 5 sub-villages of Madibira and the surrounding farming communities, who engage mostly in subsistence farming, especially rice farming.
Madibira Secondary School is the only secondary school serving the population. It was opened in 2000 with 80 students and 8 teachers. The school has grown significantly since then and now it has an enrollment of about 700 students, about 300 girls and 400 boys. There are now about 25 teachers and 8 support staff, most of whom live at the school.
Many of the parents are poor and struggle to fully pay the school fees, so it is difficult to raise money for development projects.
Students are required to be in class from 7:30am-2:30 pm each day and then again in the classrooms studying from 7pm-10pm each night.
The school has been served by 3 Peace Corps Volunteers, all of whom have taught science as their primary job. Past volunteers have completed projects to build a library and to install solar power for use in all of the classrooms at night.
The most pressing need at Madibira Secondary school is water. With students on campus for most of the day, water is needed for drinking, cooking (3 meals a day for each student), bathing, and cleaning.
Water is currently found about 500 m away from the school and comes from a single water tap. This water tap often runs very slowly or goes out for long periods of time. It is unreliable because it is connected to a single pipe coming from the river to which several other taps are connected along the way. If another tap is being used along the pipe, the school’s tap stops or slows down. Because of this, a majority of students just skip the tap and go straight to the river about 1 km from the school.
The need for water is constant and it is very common for students to be pulled out of class to fetch water. Over 50% of Form 2 students say that they miss class at least once a week in order to fetch water for the school.
This project is a part of a larger Peace Corps Partnership project to create a water system for the school.
For the overall project, three above-ground tanks, and three underground water reserves will be built. One 5,000 L underground tank connected to a 15,000 L underground reserve will be built at the girl’s dormitory and one 5,000 L above-ground tank will be built at the boy’s dormitory. Additionally, a 5,000 L above-ground tank and 10,000 L underground reserve will be built at the school’s dining hall.
Also, rain gutters will be added to both dormitories and the dining hall, and gutters will be added to five classrooms and will run into the water reserve that is already in place at the laboratory.
The additional Water Charity component of this project includes a 10,000 L water reserve to be built at the tap where the students currently go to fetch water. This tank will be filled during the night when none of the other taps on the line are being used. This will ensure that there will be plenty of water to fetch or pump to the school every morning as needed. It will be built first and provide great benefit immediately.
The reserve will be mostly made of concrete (treated with water-proofing materials) and will be reinforced with iron rods. The tank will be modeled after a similar one that was recently built at the school laboratory, a successful design that World Bank has been using in all of its similar projects in the area.
Also funded by Water Charity will be the final component of the project, a movable hand pump and underground piping connecting all of the water reserves. Every water reserve and tank will be fitted with fixtures for the attachment of the movable pump.
The pump will be run by the school’s small movable, generator and gas will be paid for by the school’s farm. This pump will allow the school to pump water from the tap to the school during dry season and will allow for rainwater that has been collected at the largest reserve near the laboratory to be pumped to the areas where it is needed. It will also be used to pump water from the underground reserves to above ground tanks.
The work will be done by local contractors, carpenters and builders from Madibira who have been recommended by the VEO (Village Executive Officer). Unskilled work will be done by parents and friends of the school, as well as by some of the students.
All of the materials will be purchased from hardware stores in Mafinga and Iringa and transported by local community members and truck drivers.
When all of the construction has been finished, there will be an assembly to introduce the water system to the students and teachers and explain the operation and water conservation plan.
800 people, consisting of 700 students and 100 staff and their families, will benefit from the project.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Monitoring and Maintenance
A sustainability plan has been developed by the Water Committee. The school will monitor the condition of the improvements and perform any needed maintenance and repairs.
This is an ambitious and important project being undertaken by the school. The reliable water system will improve the health and wellbeing of the students, and add to the educational experience.
Mwakaleli, Busokelo District, Tukuyu, Mbeya Region, Tanzania
Mwatisi Secondary School is located in Busokelo District in Mwakaleli, Tukuyu, between the Livingstone and Rungwe mountain ranges, approximately three hours away from Mbeya town.
The school is a government- and community-owned day school, so funds are collected mainly from the community and the government of Tanzania.
The school community and board members consist of students, teachers, administrative staff, cooks, guards, carpenters, wardens, community leaders, and parents of students.
Students and teachers at the school need water every day for cooking and drinking. Currently, non-potable water comes from a tap on the school grounds and is disinfected by boiling. However, the tap runs dry for months at a time during the dry season (with a rainfall average of only 13 cm). Students are taken out of class to walk at least two kilometers to fetch water from the closest spring or the river, which is contaminated with debris and bacteria.
With low access to clean water, students resort to drinking unsafe water. Practically every day, at least one sick student is sent home.
There is an average of over 60 cm of rainfall during the rainy season, but there is no capacity for water storage.
This project is to build a rainwater catchment system at the school.
The system will consist of two 5,000 L plastic SIM tanks installed on concrete stands, a guttering system on the classroom buildings, and piping to connect the components of the system.
The concrete stands will be built at two corners of two different classroom buildings of the school. Gutters will be installed on two sides of each building. The gutter system will be made by bending aluminum roofing material to direct the water into the tanks.
The implementation will include the purchasing and transporting of materials to the school (within 1-2 weeks), construction of the tank stands and roof gutter system (within 1-2 weeks depending on the weather), and installation of tanks and water taps at the bottom of the tanks (within less than a week). There will be a day during installation and a day after the installation for an assembly to train students and teachers on the usage, conservation, and importance of water.
The tanks will be purchased from Mbeya town (3 hours away from the village) and transported by a lorry from Mbeya to Kandete village (in Mwakaleli), and then to the school.
The school’s carpenters and construction workers will be responsible for building the tank stands, installing the tanks and roof and gutter system, and for repairs and maintenance.
The community will provide transportation of all materials to the school, gravel for the stand construction, a portion of the tank costs and labor costs.
Water Charity funds will pay the remainder for the purchase of the tank, materials, and labor costs.
Over the course of the rain season, which usually lasts about four months at a time (February to May), the tanks will be filled. The water will not require chemical treatment or boiling, but will be filtered to remove residual debris.
After the system is completed, the committee will evaluate the project and maintain the improvements through periodic checks on the tanks' water levels, cleanliness, and repairs when needed.
Over 500 people in the school community, including the project committee, school administrators, staff members, teachers, cooks, guards, and students, will benefit from the project.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
The project will make water available during the entire dry season, thereby reducing the frequency of illness caused by drinking unclean water and decreasing the amount of time students spend out of the classroom fetching water.
Dollar Amount of Project
Donations Collected to Date
Donations of $100 and over are acknowledged as follows:
Myla Long, Castro Valley, CA, USA - $252
Thiti Archaphorn, Murphy, TX, USA - $100
victor hangtagool, Arlington, TX, USA - $100
ADOPT THIS PROJECT BY CONTRIBUTING THE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF PROJECT
Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will give you "naming rights", if that is something you would like.
Any contributions in excess of the Dollar Amount of Project will be allocated to other projects directed by this PCV and/or projects of other PCVs in this country.
Dollar Amount Needed
School students currently do not have adequate sanitation facilities, relying on a drop toilet made of local organic materials, or going outside the school.
The students, and the community as a whole, currently are impacted by various diseases caused by fecal-oral contamination. These include diarrhea, dysentery, intestinal worms, hepatitis, typhoid, and cholera. This is especially devastating to a people living with poor nutrition, a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, and impaired immune systems.
The project has the full support of the community, which has recognized the need for the latrines, but has been unable to do anything about it because of the lack of funds.
The Water Charity participation in this project has been fully funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.
We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Jessica Meigle of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Jessica and/or those other PCVs in the country of service.
This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.
This is to reconstruct an existing water catchment tank that supplies water to one of the community’s two secondary schools. The current tank was poorly designed and is easily contaminated, and is currently a source of illness to the students. This project is the only means to provide the school with a dependable clean water source.
In addition to the reconstruction of the tank, a pipe will be built to the school. Then, piping will be run through the school, with valves to be placed in the kitchen, auditorium, toilet/shower room, clothes washing area, and garden.
The community’s total contribution to the project is about 30%. A local business is providing transportation. The school is donating the money to purchase the sand, gravel, stone, connectors, and wire mesh.
The Headmaster of the school and Peace Corps Volunteer E. Myers are administering this project. A training course on water-borne diseases and water users’ rights and responsibilities will be given to the teachers and water board.
Future maintenance costs and labor will be provided through the school’s miscellaneous fund, thus assuring sustainability.
This project will provide safe water to 200 students of the school. It is an immediate high-impact low-cost solution to the critical needs of the school.
This project has been funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.
Any additional donations using the Donate button below will be used to fund other projects by this PCV and/or other PCVs in this country.
This project has been completed. To read about the conclusion of this project, CLICK HERE.