There is a new rainwater catchment system at Gidagadi Secondary School! Students have a source of safe, clean water thanks to your support. Handwashing stations were installed so that students can clean up after using their new latrines, and students and staff have received training in sanitation and hygiene.
Rainwater Catchment Tank
Construction for this 50,000-liter rainwater catchment tank was successful!
“The students will now have ample time to read because now they will not have to go to the spring to fetch water. We are thankful as a school for the donation of the rainwater harvesting tank and the toilets,” said Principal Alachu.
“The projects being brought to us is a blessing. I used to ask God to help us get an alternative way of how the students could get water in school instead of going to the spring to access water. Now it has become an answered prayer because now we have the rainwater harvesting tank in our school which will enable us get access to safe, clean drinking water and also will be treated for us to use so as to shun having waterborne diseases in school such as typhoid.”
The only challenge was that the school had a hard time collecting supplementary construction materials. We delivered the most expensive materials and hardware, but the school was asked to provide bricks, sand, and stones. The school first tried to procure the materials on their own but finally appealed to the parents for their help, too.
Our staff and the school administration started by looking around the school to determine the best location for their new rainwater catchment tank. This needed to be the best site with good, clean roofing to catch the rainwater. Then, we cleared the site: excavating the soil within the required measurements to make level ground for the tank foundation. The foundation was cast by laying stones on level ground and then reinforcing it using steel, concrete and waterproof cement.
Both the drawing pipe as well as the washout pipe were affixed as the foundation was lain. The wall was built with ferro-cement techniques through six layers. The inner wall was plastered while rough casting was done on the outer part.
The catchment area was dug, plastered, and a staircase installed so students can easily get water from the tap. Dome construction could begin after the superstructure had been given enough time to settle. The manhole cover was fitted, inlet pipes were connected to the roof gutters, inlet screens, ventilation pipes (breathers) and overflow pipes were all done to standard.
Once finished, the tank was given three weeks to undergo complete curing before it was cleaned and handed over to Gidagadi Secondary School, though we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program.
Once we informed the principal of how important it is to teach good hygiene and sanitation, she worked hard to prepare a time and place for us to teach some of her students. She worked with her teachers to select student representatives from each grade. We recommended 15 student participants who will attend training and for a student-led hygiene and sanitation health club.
We did not expect the students to turn up in huge numbers due to the students having lessons going on at that time, but there were 45 participants total. It was a sunny morning at 9:30am when we started the training in one of the empty classrooms; the teacher who was supposed to have a lesson in that class offered us his lesson time so that we could hold training.
It was important to train participants on primary healthcare so that they avoid health challenges that keep them out of class. Waterborne diseases were outlined and the routes of contamination were explained. Good hygiene including dental hygiene and handwashing were demonstrated. Children’s rights were covered to enlighten teachers and students on how children should be understood and taken care of, and what needs to be done in case a child is denied their rights.
We went over proper operation and maintenance of the new facilities so that they can serve the school community for at least thirty years. Leadership and governance were also taught to equip the student club with good leadership skills as they teach the rest of the student body what they learned. The training climaxed with the election of the club cabinet leadership.
“This training has been a learning process to us and we thank you for the sacrifice you have made to come and train us on how to maintain the facilities. We have also learned new things such as cleaning of the tank and we shall put them into practice,” said Teacher Kivailu.
Pupils can now enjoy washing their hands with soap thanks to the two handwashing stations that were delivered to their school. These new handwashing opportunities will help reduce cases of hygiene-related illness. The training on hygiene has motivated these students to share what they’ve learned with their peers at school and families at home.
This project funded the installation of six new ventilated improved pit latrines. All of these new latrines have cement floors that are easy to use and clean. And with a rainwater catchment tank, there should be enough water to keep them clean all the time.