Conclusion of Ikimilinzowo Primary School Well Project – Tanzania

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Julie Burgett.

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

The project was to build a pump well at the Ikimilinzowo Primary School.

Julie reports:

This was a well built specifically for the Ikimilinzowo Primary School use. Before its construction, students had to walk 5 km to the river before and after school to carry water back. Now, students have less than half a kilometer to go before reaching useable water with this well. The school has 528 students from ages 5 to 15 and 11 teachers now benefiting from this project.

Following receiving the funds from our community, village masons first purchased materials from our nearest town, Makambako. Bricks were then constructed and allowed to dry. The pump was purchased when the funds from Water Charity were available, and the actual construction began.

The well was hand dug and lined by a team of youths under the advisement of the workman selected by the committee, Belnado Lugenge. Because it was dug during the end of the dry season, it was more laborious, but by design was more prudent as the water table was at its lowest. When needed, other village members stepped in to assist. It took them two weeks to complete construction, including the cover and sloped concrete drainage apron.

The headmaster takes the actual pumping mechanism out each day to ensure that the well is only for the school’s use, giving it to a student when they must collect water. This helps to ensure water will be available year round for this well, especially during the dry season.

While, for the most part, this project went smoothly, we experienced some challenges when first starting out because the committee did not want to start before the pump was received. This set our timetable back a while, but once we started, everything progressed according to plan. Another challenge was getting water to the work area, but committee members had anticipated this and had some parents of students bring water from the river. We ended up with a few more laborers than we foresaw, which was paid for by separate donors from America.

The finished well was well received by the community, with parents and teachers happy to have their students obtain more free time for studying. There was a huge celebratory party when the well finished, with most villagers attending to see the final product. Water is a precious commodity, and it was plain to see how much this well meant to the community. They engraved “Glory to God” in English and Swahili on the top part of the well, thankful that the students would have easier access to water. Overall, this well was a huge hit and success for the students of Ikimilinzowo Primary School.

We are grateful to Julie for completing this important project. We again extend our thanks to the Mexico High School Environmental Science Students, in Mexico, New York.