Conclusion of Nanjota Primary School Water Project – Tanzania

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Stephanie Chilcote. To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was to build a water system to supply the bathrooms of the school.

Stephanie reports:

Using funds from Water Charity, generously donated by Bradley Schiff in honor of Jennifer Roff, the Nanjota Primary School in the Mtwara region of Tanzania was able to build a water catchment system for their bathrooms.

Before this project, the 491 students used the bathroom with no way to wash themselves, as the village of Nanjota does not have running water, and the school had no water system. Students had to carry water from a hand pump well every day, taking time out of the classroom for the chore. The water brought was only enough for drinking during the day, and no water was available for sanitation and hygiene.

In preparation for the project, a meeting with the teachers determined that this was a pressing hygienic issue that could be simply remedied. The original plan called for individual tanks for each stall, but it was realized that those would require students to carry water to refill and still take time away from the classroom. Instead, the headmaster and village executive officer worked together to find a mason to design and build a single large tank to hold 3,200 liters of water. The design entailed the construction of a tank built from cement brick and lined with non-porous cement, with dimensions 4 feet x 4 feet x 8 feet.

A mason was hired and the tank was built above ground without any problems. A spigot was added to allow for the students to draw the water.

Aluminum gutters were purchased and installed on the roof of the bathroom to collect rainwater. Piping was run from the gutters to the tank to provide for storage of the captured water.

Steel sheeting was used to cover the tank to prevent contamination, and an access door was built in to facilitate cleaning and maintenance.

Water Charity funds were used to purchase the materials and pay for the skilled work.

As part of community contribution, the school and the village water committee helped by carrying sand and water for the mason to mix with the cement.

The system now provides water for the needs of the students throughout the dry season. It decreases the amount of time students must spend at the water pump, and now allows the students to practice proper sanitation and hygiene.

Education is the most important possession a child can have in this culture, and Nanjota is grateful for the dedication and assistance to complete this project. Elimu ni taa! (Education is light.)

We are grateful to Stephanie for completing this important project, and again extend our thanks to Bradley Schiff for providing the funds as an honorary.