Muntemba Primary School, Zambia
Every day the teachers and staff at Muntemba Primary School in central Zambia welcome 383 elementary-aged students through their schoolhouse doors. In the past, the school relied on a single borehole for all its water needs, including drinking, sanitation, and cooking mid-day meals. When the hand pump attached to the borehole fell into disrepair, the school was left waterless, unable to reach the underground water.
Without water on campus, students had to collect water from shallow wells around their community before school. Students were often late to class or missed school altogether because of the burden of finding and gathering water. To make matters worse, the water from the shallow wells was impacting their health. The hand-dug wells were unsealed against the elements and were rife with waterborne bacteria. Without a water source on campus, the students’ health, education, and ultimately their futures were in jeopardy.
Jescar Nguadzi is a 35-year-old teacher at Muntemba Primary School. He wished his students didn’t have to contend against the water crisis.
He said, “The school experienced great challenges when the hand pump broke down. Our pupils had to fetch water from shallow wells. They had to draw water from unprotected wells, which caused a lot of cases of severe diarrhea.”
The school administration knew that they needed a safe and reliable water source to keep their children healthy and in school. They heard about our work in the region and reached out to request urgent help. Our staff visited the school and found a dire situation. The staff soon returned to the community to get the borehole up and running. They flushed out the borehole to remove any loose, sedimentary rock, cased it with PVC, formed a sanitary gravel pack, and treated the water. Once they tested the water to ensure it was safe to consume, they were able to mount the hand pump and handle, completing the clean water well! Because of your gift, the residents finally had safe water in a central location at the school. The team also helped the school establish sustainability practices to help ensure a future of safe water access. They guided the community in creating a water committee to oversee the care and maintenance of the well. We will stay in contact with the committee to monitor the well’s functionality.
In order to help the school staff and community members understand how to use the safe water you gave them as a means of improving their health, the our staff held hygiene and sanitation promotion activities. These interactive lessons taught the students and staff effective handwashing, how to prevent the spread of disease, and how to properly store water. Now that they are equipped with tools and knowledge, the school’s community can take charge of their health.
Jescar was thrilled that his students could now focus on their school work, uninhibited by waterborne illnesses. He said, “Now that the students have access to safe water, the number of diarrhea cases will be reduced.”
|Exact Coordinates:||Latitude: -15.00822 | Longitude: 27.817038|
|Previous Water:||Hand-dug wells|
|Main Water Collectors:||Women and Children|
|Pump Type:||Hand pump|
|Depth of Well:||50 m|