Conclusion of Chief Gidobat Secondary School Handwashing Station Project – Tanzania

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Alex Nussbaum.

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

The project was to build a handwashing station at the school.

Alex reports:

The handwashing station for Chief Gidobat Secondary School progressed well throughout the entire project.

We started the project by building the stand for the tank to rest on. The stand is completely made of concrete, with rebar supports on the inside, and stands approximately 6 feet tall. It is also dug approximately 2 feet into the ground to add extra support.

After the stand was built we applied cement to the side of the building in order to ensure longevity of the handwashing station. This way, when it rains, mud and other dirt will not fall onto the station, promoting longer life.

After the cement was applied to the building, we started to make the actual sink part of the station. We decided that it would be better to make the sink structure out of concrete rather than aluminum roofing material. We thought that this too would allow for increased longevity of the station. Up until this point everything progressed fairly smoothly.

It took 3-4 days for each section to dry before we proceeded with the next step. We would continually apply water to each section for 3 days to prevent cracking of the cement. After the sink was built, we then placed the plastic tank on top of the stand and then proceeded to add the steel piping. This part proved to be the most difficult.

The piping we purchased did not come with threads. We used a handheld machine that created threads on both ends of each piece. Once the pieces were threaded we put them all together. However, once we put the piping into the tank, we were worried that the tank might tear due to the weight of the piping, so we decided that we needed to add supports. We added 5 supports to help bear the weight of the steel piping.

Once the piping was in place and properly supported, we then installed the 5 taps as outlets for the water. We then finished by applying waterproof material to the sink and pipe parts to once again ensure longevity, thus completing the station.

We decided not to place any gutters on the side of the building leading into the tank because the school stated that they will install a pipe from the existing water source directly into the tank so that it can be supplied with water during all seasons. We used the money that we saved to buy extra cement for the actual sink part.

Chief Gidobat Secondary School and the members of the community are very grateful for the handwashing station. Students can now wash their hands before and after they eat, and wash their dishes much faster than previously. Instead of all of the students fighting over a single water source, there are now five outlets for students to use together.

We are grateful to Alex for completing this project, and again extend our thanks to his friends and family for providing the funding.