In 2018 H2O for Life funded a number of women led organizations working in East Africa to promote safe water access and better sanitation services in schools. Bukoba Women Empowerment Association (BUWEA) was one of the beneficiaries of this funding. BUWEA carried out a comprehensive WASH workshop at Katoke Primary School in the outskirts of Bukoba town, Tanzania. Here is their completion report:
Please list all the WASH activities done at the school:
1. WASH education to the students, teachers and other school employees
2. Training on hand washing and methods of water treatment
3. Construction of rain catchment tank and biosand filters
4. Use and supply of sanitary pads
Please list any changes that happened at the school after all your WASH activities:
1. Decrease in water related disease, including diarrhea, typhoid and other water born diseases
2. Attendance at school has risen to 90%.
3. No more money is being spent for buying bottled water
- 10,000L Rain water harvesting tank was constructed to serve the school population of about 400 pupils and 10 teachers
- 5 Bio sand filters were constructed to enhance the safety of drinking water for the pupils and teachers
- The surrounding community of about 20 households also has access drinking water especially during school holidays
- The performance of Katoke Primary School students has improved, this is attributed to the project since the pupils spend most of their time in school revising and doing their assignments
- The cases of water borne related infections among the pupils reduced from 15 % to 3%.
- More girls and boys have been enrolled in school following the availability of safe water in school
- More parents want to be associated with the school because of their development record as well as their performance record in the community
- 3 new teachers have joined the school following its good records
Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning! This is a story of transformation and hope for the pupils of Katoke Primary school, in Bukoba Tanzania. For years the school has had a major problem of lack of access to safe drinking water, they boys and girls were forced to abandon class work and walk for over 5 kilometers up the hill to fetch water in the nearby water streams, rivers and dams, the pupils spent over one hour every day to fetch water that was not safe for drinking. Consequently during this time the girls were exposed to premature relationships that always led to early pregnancies and hence high rates of school drop outs for the girls. Ultimately many pupils miss school due to water borne related infections such as typhoid, diarrhea and cholera, this was so rampant in the year 2017 where 100 pupils were diagnosed with typhoid in one term. The poverty level in the sub-Saharan Africa and Tanzania in particular is indeed insult added to the injury, implying that not even the parents could contain the situation. However the dawn for this school came, through the support of H2O for life grant, courtesy of the Global Women’s Water initiative WASH Program in East Africa, where Katoke Primary School received a grant to construct a 10,000 liter rain water harvesting tank and Bio sand Filters in early 2018. This marked the end of the weeping, and their morning of joy and solace dawned to the entire Katoke Primary School fraternity. Today the Water born infections among the pupils has reduced from 15% to 3% since the project was implemented at the school. There has not been any single case of early pregnancy and school dropouts among the girls, consistently, the academic performance for both girls and boys especially in class seven has tremendously improved. Polina Penda a community outreach officer from BUWEA (the implementing organization) says. “Usaidizi wa H2O for life grant umetutoa kwa giza lililokua la maisha, Asante sana”(The H2O for life grant has liberated us from the darkness that was to be there forever, thank you very much). Giving is sacrifice and together we can bring change for tomorrow’s generation.
Esther Maimuna a teacher at Katoke Primary School narrated how the funding has transformed the school; “I joined this school in 2015, I remember how we used to force our pupils to go and fetch water in a dam 30 minutes away, it was a horrible experience with our pupils, seeing them miss out of class to go and fetch water for the teachers, after the project our pupils utilize all their time for their academy progress, We had never imagined that at one given time we would have clean water for ourselves and the pupils. What a miracle! We moved from grass to grass, we are the champions!”
Grace Mshongi a GWWI WASH graduate had this to say about the project; When I went to share with the school administration about the our new project of Bio sand filters they only wanted the tank, but today the the school head teacher always thank me for the new technology because it does not just filter the water but it makes it cold as like the one in the fridge, as grassroots woman walk with my head up having introduced a new technology in town, thank you GWWI for empowering women like me to bring change in their communities.