Conclusion of Ha Mali Community Center Rainwater Catchment and Storage Project – Lesotho

Conclusion of Ha Mali Community Center Rainwater Catchment and Storage Project – Lesotho

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Maggie Day.

To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to install a rainwater catchment and storage system, consisting of gutters, downpipes, and 2 tanks, for the Ha Mali Community Center.

Maggie reports:

The preschool students and Community Center youth now have clean water for drinking and washing their hands, and we have a good supply of water for the community fruit tree plantings and chicken project.

The volunteer component of the project turned out to be remarkably challenging, as we experienced winter weather, and any number of our difficult-to-orchestrate collective work days were rained or snowed out. Then, when everyone came, the lead construction person from Maliba Lodge was injured, and then was busy with another project. Then, he showed up, and no one else did, due to field work, house work, or funerals.

The tanks needed solid bases, which we built using local stone, gravel, and cement that was purchased with local donations. We cleared the two sites, set the cement base, then the stone layers, filled it with tamped down dirt, then capped with more cement.

The women carried the cement, gravel and water up the hill to the center. The stones were collected by the kids, some of the young boys pitched in on the construction and learned a bit about working with cement and building stone walls, and a few of the younger ones were called to action as dirt stampers, turning it into a dance.

We then finished the half cap, set tank one, attached the gutters and downpipes to the tank, built the base for tank two, and installed the second tank.

We also prepared a chlorination and tank-cleaning program to ensure the tanks will remain in good condition and the collected water will always be safe to drink.

The gutters are on, the tanks are plumbed, and the children at the ECCD (Early Childhood Care and Development) and those visiting our Saturday Center have clean water to wash hands & drink.

A group of villagers are watering the 200+ fruit trees (peach, apple and apricot) they planted around the Center (provided free of charge by the Ministry of Forestry and Land Reclamation).

The Village Support Group is planning a new Community Garden to teach and provide fresh vegetables for the OVC (orphans and vulnerable children) and infirm they care for.

Thank you so much. While it was a painfully long time in coming lessons were learned by all and the results are wonderful.

We, in turn, extend our thanks to Maggie for completing this project despite the adversity. We again wish to thank Commonwealth Bank BP&D Easter Raffle, New South Wales, Australia for providing the funding.