Nguluma Primary School was started in 2009 by parents, but was soon absorbed by the government through the District Education Board. Currently, the school only gets funds from the government.
The school is located in a rural area that is calm and peaceful. This creates a conducive learning environment for the students. Some of the school structures are built in a modern fashion, as they are built of bricks and new iron sheets. Other classrooms are built by bricks but they are incomplete and have no doors and lack windowpanes. Some classes have concrete floors while others have earthen floors.
There is a water kiosk and an unprotected well that the school uses to meet the water needs of its 220 students. The water is scarce because the whole community depends on the sources and they run out very fast. Most water sources are seasonal and can only serve the school for a short period of time. Once the water runs out at these sources, the students are expected to carry water to school.
"It is required of us to carry water to school when the water runs out and it is usually very hard. We get very exhausted. There's a lot of time wasted when we are sent from class to go and fetch water for cooking," said Damaris Mawia Joseph, a student at the school.
Furthermore, neither of the sources are safe for drinking. Water from these sources needs to be treated because they are all exposed to contaminants. The unprotected well is not covered so it is exposed to open defecation, reckless animal activity, improper waste disposal among others. On the other hand, the water kiosk has water that might have contaminants such as rust.
Drinking untreated water exposes the students to risks of contracting waterborne diseases, stomachaches, and diarrhea. A lot of learning time is wasted when the students are sent to fetch water during class time.
"When water in the school tanks end, the school buys water from vendors; the water that is brought is usually very salty, making it unsuitable for drinking," said Damaris.
Here’s what we’re going to do about it:
Rainwater Catchment Tank
We will build a 104,000-liter rainwater catchment tank for this school. This water will benefit the students, teachers, and supplementary staff. Parents will mobilize the materials needed for construction, such as sand and stone. They will also lend some strong arms to help with the actual construction.
The huge capacity of this tank makes the others look tiny in comparison; 104,000 liters should be enough water to carry students and staff through the entire dry season. As soon as the tank has time to cure, it can begin to collect rainwater for drinking, cooking, and cleaning!
Three handwashing stations will be delivered at the project’s completion. These are 1,000-liter plastic tanks fitted with four taps. The health club and school management will be responsible for making sure tanks are filled with water and that a cleaning agent such as soap or ash is available.
Students and staff will be trained for one day. Those in attendance will form a school health club that will promote good hygiene and sanitation practices both at school and home. They will learn all of the steps to proper handwashing, how to treat water, and how to keep their environment clean. The school will also be taught how to best oversee and maintain their new rainwater catchment tank and handwashing stations.