Conclusion of Kwemaramba Secondary School Water Project – Tanzania

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Theodore Lin.

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

The project was to renovate two rainwater catchment and storage systems at the school.

Theodore reports:

After 3 long rainy months, the repair of the rainwater catchment system and the building of the new gutters at Kwemaramba Secondary School have finally been completed.

We immediately went to work and the contractor we hired cleaned out the gutters and added extra support to each of the gutters to ensure there would be no leakage. Cleaning and repairing the gutters took approximately 1 week.

We then added a spigot to the tank to have easier access to the water. We decided to wait for the first rainfall to see if the tank had a leak that truly needed to be fixed. After the first heavy rainfall, the tank had about 2 ft. of water in it which was less than expected. We had discovered that there was a leak around where the spigot had been installed. The students were able to use a rope and bucket to fetch the remaining water while we planned to seal the tank.

We had to wait for the tank to be completely empty before we started to line the inside of the tank with waterproof cement. We were able to get over 1,000 liters of water before the tank was completely sealed. To completely use all the water took approximately 1 month because the work was being done during the rainy season so it continuously filled up.

We spent one day to seal the tank on a beautiful sunny day. Immediately after the tank was sealed, there was heavy rainfall and the sealant withstood the heavy pressure of the water. The tank is now over half full with approximately 10,000 liters of water and adding each rainfall.

Adding the gutters to the already existing catchment system was delayed by one month because there was a lack of proper fascia boards necessary to nail the gutters to. We had also decided to switch from aluminum gutters to more expensive plastic gutters so that we could use the gutter system for a much longer period.

Once we got the fascia board we were able to complete the gutter system within 2 days. The next day there was very light rain but the rain water catchment system was so efficient it filled up the 1,000 liter catchment halfway. We had begun to use half of the water and the following day it rained heavily and the catchment was overflowing.

The students are now happy they don’t have to walk downhill every morning to fetch the unsafe river water. With over 10,000 liters of water, we have plenty of water to meet the needs of 400 students and staff at our school and villagers around.

We have started to sell the excess rain water to the teachers living nearby at a nominal price of $0.03 per 10 L bucket. The money will be used to ensure that the tank will be in good repair in the future. The school now has plenty of clean rain water the students and staff can drink. We have also used the money to purchase ceramic candle water filters to filter the rain water. The school no longer has to use firewood to boil water. In this area, deforestation is a huge problem and we are doing our part to reduce the amount of firewood we use at our school.

On behalf of Kwemaramba Secondary School, we wanted to thank first, Water Charity for supporting our project. Second, we wanted to thank all of the donors. Without their donations we would not have been able to complete this project. Our school will enjoy cleaner and safer drinking water for an indefinite amount of time.

We, in turn, extend our thanks to Theodore for completing this important project, and again express our gratitude to the donors for providing the funding.