Water access at Happy Bricks School

Our students need an adequate water supply for drinking, cooking and washing utensils in the kitchen and cleaning bathrooms and classrooms. We are facing two main challenges: how to get access to water throughout the year, and how to make the water safe for drinking.
For accessing the water we have already achieved a lot. A few years back, our students had to carry water every morning from the Ngerengere River to our school. That is why we bought a water pump and two tanks containing 10,000 liters each. One tank is located at Eco Camp and the other one is at school. We pump the water across the 450 meter distance from the river to the tank at school. During dry season, however, we usually experience serious droughts resulting in a shortage of water. The tanks help us to cover our water need while the river is dried up. Unfortunately, the water pump has recently lost most of its capacity to pump water across such a far distance. Several attemps of fixing the pump were not successful, therefore we need to buy a new one.

Regarding the second challenge, we experience that without permanent and reliable water supply our students are likely to get infected with diseases such as Cholera, Bilharzias, Amoebic Dysentery, Typhoid and Worms. Drinking straight from the river is not safe which is why at the moment we filter the water with water purification tablets. A safer method, however, would be to use rain water.

For that purpose, we are planning on creating a system which collects rain water on the school roof during the rainy season, from where it is transported to the water tank.

Measures to be taken:

  • buying a stronger water pump
  • building a rainwater collecting system
  • improving the water filtering system mainly for drinking water