Lukangaba Primary School Water Project – Zambia
Lukangaba Primary School, Mansa District, Luapula Province, Zambia
The Lukangaba community is rural and there is no electricity or running water. Community members live in mud huts with grass thatch roofs. Most community members rely on farming as their source of income. Lukangaba Primary School is about 20 km or 12.4 miles from the Provincial Capital of Mansa.
Lukangaba Primary School has no functioning source of water on their campus. The teachers and students have to walk over a kilometer to reach a river for drinking water. Work on Lukangaba’s new borehole begins in the thick of dry season, and any well source of water near the school has dried. Like all the schools that the Water for Zambia project has targeted, there is a merry-go-round play pump that has not worked since 2009. This pump was intended to pump water through the energy created by children playing on the merry-go-round. Unfortunately, the project failed and the pump quit working after just one year.
The Water for Zambia project will remove the merry-go-round and all the rusted piping below. The merry-go-round will be installed elsewhere for children to play.
Next, the piping will be replaced with PVC pipes. Each section of the PVC piping is 3 meters. The pipes are securely connected with solvent cement. Then, a rope is utilized to connect all piping together. Under the Water for Zambia project, all targeted schools require borehole rehabilitations. The borehole at Lukangaba Primary School is 33 meters deep, with a static water level of 9 meters. At the bottom of the well will be a sand layer. At the end of the piping will be a sand screen to prevent any sand and debris from coming up through the pumping. The pedestal will then be attached to the concrete and a hand pump will be installed. The construction process will take a total of 5 days.
The pumping will allow water to flow at a rate of 10 liters per 21 seconds. The pump will be easy for students to utilize, and the water is potable without purification. The new borehole will allow for students and teachers to improve the cleanliness of all school facilities, including toilets.
Additionally, the surrounding villages and community members will come to the school to access the new source of water. There are certain hours when the borehole will be open to the community. During open hours, the borehole will be the center of activity where, men, women, and children of many ages come to collect water, chat, and laugh. All community members utilizing the water source will pay a small fee to the school that is then saved in a spare parts fund for future repairs.
The above ground improvements will include the creation of a cement apron around the pump and a drainage way to direct overflow to a soak pit. The soak pit will collect all runoff water. Students have been provided with fruit trees to plant near the new water source.
All construction carried out is done in partnership with the local government council. The construction team comes from the Mansa Municipal Council located in the district capital, Mansa, in the Luapula Province. There are five men involved in the project. Swala Mumba is certified as a trainer of trainers in borehole construction and maintenance. He is a counterpart to Emily who assists with directing the team and administrative tasks. Emily has trained Swala in record keeping, program planning, and accounting. He has an advanced diploma in project management from the Institute of Commercial Management (located in UK). He started working at the Mansa Municipal Council in 2008 as a rural water supply and sanitation assistant.
Bernard Chansa is also certified as a trainer of trainers in borehole construction and maintenance. He is also the only plumber at the Mansa Municipal Council, and is, therefore, always needed for countless tasks. He started working at the council in 2006. He leads the construction team in the field. Patrick Chabu is a skilled bricklayer. He is in charge of the soak pit construction and plastering at all the schools. He started working for the council in 2007. Michael Mpana and Daniel Impundu are half brothers. Michael is 20 years old and Daniel is 19. They are both handymen and help with all the labor heavy tasks. They are in training with Mr. Chansa in borehole construction and maintenance.
This project will directly impact at least 1,200 people. There are the 576 people at the school; 564 students enrolled at the school and a teaching staff of 12. And, as well, this project will also impact neighboring villagers, visitors, and future students.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Monitoring and Maintenance
The schools and surrounding communities have been involved in every step of this project’s progress. It is a long held belief, that development without community engagement is not sustainable. These boreholes have an expected lifetime of 50 years. It is the hope of many that the communities will sustain their borehole for that lifetime.
During the construction process, the community will provide labor, sand, and stone for the project. The value of these contributions is about 20% of full project cost.
The students have been engaged in the process of sensitizing the community. Teachers prepared a course about water, sanitation, and proper utilization of the borehole. Class discussions will include information about boiling drinking water, chlorine usage, washing hands after latrine use and proper hygiene. Following the course, students will create sketches, poems, dances, and songs of various scenarios around water and sanitation. The performances will demonstrate proper and improper borehole use. The students will present to the community at large for a day of sensitization and celebration.
Lastly, Lukangaba Primary School has formed a maintenance committee to monitor and protect the borehole. Teachers and the Parent Teacher Association are involved in the committee and ensure proper regulation, operation, and maintenance. This committee meets regularly to address any issues that arise. The committee is responsible for determining hours of operation for the borehole, locking the borehole on off hours as well as collecting community fees. All community fees will be safely secured for a spare parts fund. Spare parts are available in the district capital of Mansa. Additionally, rural area pump minders are trained to repair the Afridev boreholes. Area pump minders (or APM’s) are equipped with toolkits and bicycles to reach rural areas and assist with repairs.
The convenient source of water will allow student hygiene to improve. Girls will be most impacted by this development. Many young girls would once drop out of school after reaching puberty. The new water source will allow the girls to remain in school. The struggle to find water and the time spent searching will be eliminated. Since the task of fetching water mostly falls on young girls, this project will most impact them. The students will have more time to dedicate to their studies and other tasks. The impact of a clean water source on campus is expected to improve health and sanitation at school, resulting in improved school attendance. As such, this project receives the WC designation LGL+, for projects that promote the values and intentions of the Let Girls Learn program without actually being part of the official program. It is a part of our Let Girls Learn Initiative.
The school has been instructed to plant fruit trees near the borehole to also assist with the issue of food security in the area.
During Emily’s time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia, she recognized the problem of inadequate access to safe drinking water sources. She was shocked to discover that all of the schools in the area lacked an on-site, working water source. Water Charity helped her do her first 3 school borehole projects as a PCV. After her COS, she decided to return to Zambia as an RPCV, and start her own effort, Water for Zambia. We at Water Charity have joined with Emily and Water for Zambia and have funded all of the work she has done for Zambia. At present, we have committed to do 13 school water projects. This is number 9 of 13.
$0 – This project has been funded by a major Water Charity donor, who prefers to remain anonymous.