Mwatisi Secondary School Rainwater Catchment Project – Tanzania

Mwakaleli, Busokelo District, Tukuyu, Mbeya Region, Tanzania

Community Description
Mwatisi Secondary School is located in Busokelo District in Mwakaleli, Tukuyu, between the Livingstone and Rungwe mountain ranges, approximately three hours away from Mbeya town.

The school is a government- and community-owned day school, so funds are collected mainly from the community and the government of Tanzania.

The school community and board members consist of students, teachers, administrative staff, cooks, guards, carpenters, wardens, community leaders, and parents of students.

Problem Addressed
Students and teachers at the school need water every day for cooking and drinking. Currently, non-potable water comes from a tap on the school grounds and is disinfected by boiling. However, the tap runs dry for months at a time during the dry season (with a rainfall average of only 13 cm). Students are taken out of class to walk at least two kilometers to fetch water from the closest spring or the river, which is contaminated with debris and bacteria.

Mwatisi Secondary School Rainwater Catchment Project - Tanzania

With low access to clean water, students resort to drinking unsafe water. Practically every day, at least one sick student is sent home.

There is an average of over 60 cm of rainfall during the rainy season, but there is no capacity for water storage.

Project Description
This project is to build a rainwater catchment system at the school.

The system will consist of two 5,000 L plastic SIM tanks installed on concrete stands, a guttering system on the classroom buildings, and piping to connect the components of the system.

A committee that has been established to oversee the project, with membership including school board and community members as well as the skilled workers who will implement the project.

The concrete stands will be built at two corners of two different classroom buildings of the school. Gutters will be installed on two sides of each building. The gutter system will be made by bending aluminum roofing material to direct the water into the tanks.

The implementation will include the purchasing and transporting of materials to the school (within 1-2 weeks), construction of the tank stands and roof gutter system (within 1-2 weeks depending on the weather), and installation of tanks and water taps at the bottom of the tanks (within less than a week). There will be a day during installation and a day after the installation for an assembly to train students and teachers on the usage, conservation, and importance of water.

The tanks will be purchased from Mbeya town (3 hours away from the village) and transported by a lorry from Mbeya to Kandete village (in Mwakaleli), and then to the school.

The school’s carpenters and construction workers will be responsible for building the tank stands, installing the tanks and roof and gutter system, and for repairs and maintenance.

The community will provide transportation of all materials to the school, gravel for the stand construction, a portion of the tank costs and labor costs.

Water Charity funds will pay the remainder for the purchase of the tank, materials, and labor costs.

Mwatisi Secondary School Rainwater Catchment Project - Tanzania

Over the course of the rain season, which usually lasts about four months at a time (February to May), the tanks will be filled. The water will not require chemical treatment or boiling, but will be filtered to remove residual debris.

After the system is completed, the committee will evaluate the project and maintain the improvements through periodic checks on the tanks’ water levels, cleanliness, and repairs when needed.

Project Impact
Over 500 people in the school community, including the project committee, school administrators, staff members, teachers, cooks, guards, and students, will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Belle Archaphorn

The project will make water available during the entire dry season, thereby reducing the frequency of illness caused by drinking unclean water and decreasing the number of time students spend out of the classroom fetching water.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Donations of $100 and over are acknowledged as follows:

Myla Long, Castro Valley, CA, USA – $400
Thiti Archaphorn, Murphy, TX, USA – $100
Victor Hangtagool, Arlington, TX, USA – $100


Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will give you “naming rights”, if that is something you would like.

Any contributions in excess of the Dollar Amount of the Project will be allocated to other projects directed by this PCV and/or projects of other PCVs in this country.

Dollar Amount Needed

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