Conclusion of Chala’s Public School Sanitation Project – Georgia

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Nicole Kennedy.

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

The project was to provide for a comprehensive sanitary faucet system at the school.

Nicole reports:

The Chala’s Public School Sanitation Project has been finished.

July was a difficult month with rain here in Georgia. The project itself did not take more than 2 weeks. However, it was difficult with rain and lack of sunshine, as the cement took longer to dry.

The project was a collaboration of work between school staff, two hired community members (plumber and a faucet/foundation structure expert), 11th grade students of 2013-2014, and the Peace Corps Volunteer.

After receiving the funding, the members of the project met at school to discuss the timeline and meet with the hired experts again. We arranged a shopping day in town, to make the necessary purchases for the project. The plumber and our students stayed behind to begin digging and preparing the site for the installation of the new pipes and faucet.

 Once all the purchases were done, the new pipes were connected to the existing pipes running from the existing water basin. We ran the pipes all the way to the center of the existing square plot of land in the school yard. We successfully created piping to take the “used” water out of the school yard, without causing flooding to either of the neighboring houses or the village center. We decided for sustainability to make the faucet a bit longer in case of necessary changes to the tap itself.

The faucet/foundation structure itself took the longest due to the cement needing to dry. The cement was laid by the cement expert from our village, with the help of staff and students. They used wood from the village members who donated it for the use of the project.

First, the base was laid below the ground to support the end of the pipe/drain. Then the back part of the faucet/foundation was created using a constructed wooden mold frame. There were metal rods that were stuck in and put further into the ground, to help to stabilize the back part. After this, the frame was removed and the base was completed with a wooden frame. The basin was completed with a flexible plastic frame.

After all was completed and dried, the expert and a staff member smoothed and painted the structure. The metal rods were cut down to the back part’s frame and painted over.

The students, working with the cement worker, decided they wanted to make a small square around the faucet/foundation as this is their part of the school yard (for class gardens). We cleared out the weeds and made “curbs” with leftover cement. We mixed the leftover sand and rocks together to put between the two curbs for a walking path.

The students are currently collecting wood to make benches on the existing metal that was put there for benches years ago. The students have also discussed planting rose bushes as well as other plants to “beautify” their class garden even more. They are proud of their hard work and excited for their classmates to see how they spent part of their summer. They feel happy to have made a positive difference in their community, even if it was a small difference.

The village members, who have peeked into the school yard to see what the commotion was about, have been pleasantly surprised to see the beautiful new structure. Not only is the water colder and more refreshing, but is also now harder for the animals to drink from the faucet.

With the purchases, we were able to buy a supply of soap for students to properly wash their hands. The rock path and of course the water basin have made it much more sanitary and safe for students and staff as the old basic faucet leaked and created puddles and mud where students often slipped.

The director of the school is excited to see not only the faucet/foundation structure, but to see the staff and students come together to identify a problem and to actively try to change that problem. We are all thankful for that opportunity, given the funding from Appropriate Projects and the donors.

We at Water Charity are grateful to Nicole for completing this project, and extend our thanks to those who have donated to date.