Namandwe Primary School Borehole Project – Zambia

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.

Namandwe Primary School, Mansa District, Luapula Province, Zambia

Community Description
The Namandwe 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. Namandwe Primary School is about 10 km or 6.2 miles from the Provincial Capital of Mansa.

Problem Addressed
Namandwe Primary School had no functioning source of water on their campus.  There was an old play pump structure that had been removed and an India Mark II borehole was installed. Due to the steel piping of this borehole, and an excess amount of iron in the ground of Luapula Province, the pipes quickly rusted and contaminated the water.

Project Description
This project is to rehabilitate the borehole at the school.

All of the rusted piping will be removed and replaced by PVC pipes.  Each section of the PVC piping is 3 meters in length.  The pipes will be securely connected with solvent cement.

The above-ground improvements include the creation of a cement apron around the pump and a drainage way to direct overflow to a soak pit.  The soak pit collects all runoff water.  Students have been provided with fruit trees to plant near the new water source.

Under the Water for Zambia Program, all targeted schools require borehole rehabilitations. These rehabilitations require no further drilling. The borehole at Namandwe Primary School is 22.3 meters deep, with a static water level of 5 meters. At the bottom of the well there is 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 allows water to flow at a rate of 10 liters every 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.  The convenient source of water will improve student hygiene.  Girls are most impacted by this development.  Many young girls would drop out of school after reaching puberty if there are not adequate bathroom facilities. The new water source allows the girls to remain in school.

Additionally, the surrounding villages and community members will be able to come to the school to access the new source of water.  There will be certain hours when the borehole is open to the community.  During open hours, the borehole will be the center of activity.  Men, women, and children of many ages will come to collect water, chat, and laugh.  All community members utilizing the water source will pay a small fee to the school that will then be saved in a spare parts fund for future repairs.

All construction carried out by the Water for Zambia project 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 is training Swala in record-keeping, program planning, and accounting.  He has an advanced diploma in project management from the Institute of Commercial Management (located in the 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 heavy labor tasks.  They have trained with Mr. Chansa in borehole construction and maintenance.

Project Impact
This project will directly impact 1,409 people, 1,371 students enrolled at the school and a teaching staff of 38.   This will indirectly impact other villagers, visitors and future students.

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Emily McKeone

Monitoring and Maintenance
The schools and surrounding communities will be 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 the full project cost.

The students will engage in the process of sensitizing the community.  Teachers will prepare 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.   There will be a day of sensitization and celebration at which the students will present their performances to the community.

Lastly, Namandwe Primary School has formed a maintenance committee to monitor and protect the borehole.  Teachers and the Parent Teacher Association are involved in the committee to ensure proper regulation, operation, and maintenance.  This committee will meet regularly to address any issues that arise.  The committee is responsible for determining hours of operation for the borehole and locking the borehole on off hours, as well as community fees.   All community fees should 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 school will now have a reliable source of drinking water. The struggle to find water and the time spent searching have been 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.  The school has been instructed to plant fruit trees near the borehole, to also assist with the issue of food security in the area.

Finally, the school is in the process of constructing an additional classroom for students.  It is expected that construction will be completed sooner as a result of the new, convenient source of water.

While this is not an official Let Girls Learn project, it does fall into Water Charity’s LGL+ grouping of projects that have a pronounced element involving helping girls go to, and stay in, school.

Emily McKeone worked with Water Charity as a PCV, directing the prototype project, which created boreholes for 3 schools.  With the assistance of Water Charity she was able to come back to Zambia as a RPCV and implement the Water for Zambia program.  Now we are completing 13 more school boreholes, bringing the total to 16 schools boreholes in Zambia.  This is school #8 of 13.

This project is part of our Water for Zambia Program. It also falls under our ongoing East Africa Water & Sanitation Program.

This project has been fully paid for by an anonymous donor.

If you like this project, please donate to the Water for Zambia Program so that we will have money available for similar projects.

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE.