Conclusion of Dimi Public School #1 Water Project – Georgia
This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Caitlin Lowery.
To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.
The project was to provide for the water and sanitation needs of the school.
On behalf of the community of Dimi and myself, thank you for generous support of the Dimi Public School #1 Project. We are proud to say that the project has been completed.
The school now has a handwashing station with running water that students and staff may use after using the toilet facilities, playing outside, before eating lunch, or at any other point in the day. In all, 300 students and 40 teachers now have access to running water at the school, in addition to parents and other visitors to the school grounds.
With the assistance of local laborers, the community constructed a sink and installed pipes connecting to the water source and a water pump to transport the water up to a new elevated water tank. The sink was built using bricks and cement, donated by the school, and then covered with tiles.
The water tank ensures that there is a constant supply of water available. The tap can be turned on and off and the teachers will ensure soap is available at all times, allocating funds for its purchase from their monthly collection of funds for communal supplies such as toilet paper, coffee and tea.
The construction was done by several local workers, including the school handyman, a local plumber, and a welder. English teacher Nana Kharatishvili served as the project manager, with assistance from school director Merab Kvirakashvili and other teachers at the school.
Water Charity funds paid for the specialized labor done by the welder and the rental of welding materials, and purchased the necessary materials, including the water tank, water pump, tiles, faucets, and pipes. This provided business for a store in a neighboring town owned by the husband of one of the teachers. He, in turn, transported the materials free of charge. In addition to the bricks and cement, the school also provided sand and the metal poles and connectors used to create the support stand for the water tank.
English teachers Nana Kharatishvili, Maia Tsitadze and Meri Lataria all collaborated with me to give a hygiene training to all elementary and middle school students (up through 8th grade). The training covered the importance of washing your hands, the times it is necessary to wash your hands, and how to wash your hands properly, as well as a section on oral hygiene, including how to brush and floss your teeth, and when to do so.
This was the first project that the project manager has completed and she hopes that it will not be the last. Nana expressed she was pleasantly surprised at the speed and ease with which the project was completed. Teachers believe the project will be beneficial for their health and the health of their students and that students will get into the habit of washing their hands frequently.
Parents and students alike expressed their gratitude for the generous funds provided for the project and the solution to a hygiene problem which had persisted for years. Parents said that after the training their children washed their hands “not often, but always.” One parent even jestingly complained that her son was so impressed by the training that she now has to buy twice the amount of soap and toothpaste she did previously.
The school teachers, director, parents and students wish to thank the generous donors to this project, John Campbell, June Panico and Robin Lowery, as well as the Appropriate Projects initiative of Water Charity, for making this project possible. I’d like to join them in saying a big “Didi madloba” as well!
We would like to thank Caitlin for completing the project, and again express our gratitude to the donors.