January : Torrential rains washed away bridges and roads and caused damage to houses. In the weeks following the flooding there was some rain and people were confident enough to plant their maize crops. These crops grew and folk were encouraged.

March : Hopes were high that good soaking rains were to follow but sadly no more rain fell and the crops dried out, The maize just did not form cobs at all. This means severe hunger later in the year when present stocks run out.

April : The Latrine Project

This Project is now complete apart from the installation of the SIM tanks (still in storage) and the water supply for hand washing. The disabled cubicles have been modified to comply with the plans supplied by Kitchen Table Charities Trust who supplied the funding for this project. Everyone is very pleased with the outcome.

WATER : The worrying shortage of water has prompted thoughts of installing a borehole and hand pump at the school. This has been investigated and a quotation for the work has been received. I have submitted an application to a Charitable Trust for funding and am awaiting approval.

June : In June this year I took my family members, who had not seen where we went to school, for a short visit to Kongwa. As we turned off the main Dodoma road onto the red sand road towards Kongwa there was evidence of the severe drought in the area. The maize crop has failed and we are on standby to provide maize to the school children towards the end of the year.

We saw villagers dragging homemade trolleys with containers of water on them. How far had they walked for that water?

The children were waiting for us as we arrived at the school – what a welcome considering it was half term and they had all come in specially to greet us!

A meeting was arranged with the engineer who will oversee the work on the proposed borehole. The quotation was updated and discussions followed regarding the way forward with the plans. We await the decision from the Trust in England to whom I have applied for a Grant to help with the cost of the borehole.

Later in the morning a great programme of dancing was held. Singing and performances by the children and the drummers from the village whilst we sat under a rather smart red canopy in the shade.

This was followed by lunch for everyone – guests and children – funded by the family and prepared by the teachers in huge pots over a fire. The family helped to serve the children who queued patiently waving their plates.

They then found a shady spot and joined with friends to eat their lunch.

September: SCHOOL TRIP TO MIKUMI NATIONAL PARK. The annual school trip this year took place on 11th and 12th of September. 84 children and 4 teachers travelled to Mikumi to view the animals of their country. It’s a five-hour drive in buses so an overnight stay is essential. Thanks to all who have sponsored a child on this trip or donated to the Project to make it possible.

Some photos of the School Trip are now available – not of clear quality but they give a good idea of the fun the children had.


In late August we received confirmation that our application for funding a borehole had been approved by Kitchen Table Charities Trust. Without this Trust the Borehole Project would have taken at least a year longer to complete. The wheels were set in motion immediately and discussions with the Borehole Engineer and the school followed.

During the week beginning 23rd September work began on the borehole. The land was surveyed and a site chosen for the drilling and on Wednesday 25th the mobilisation of equipment began with the heavy machinery arriving at the school. On the Thursday the drilling rig was set up .

Click arrow to watch short videos

Friday, after school hours, drilling begins
Saturday, 28th September, early afternoon, they reached water

Reaching the water so quickly was very exciting and completing the installation of the tanks, pipes and pipework to the latrines began immediately. A date was set for completion of the borehole and the engineer and his men worked hard to get everything done in time.

October: On Saturday, 12th October a grand Opening Ceremony was held at the school and attended by Teachers, Education Department officials, Elders of the village, the school children, the village drummers and villagers from nearby. I was there to represent the Project . . accompanied by my granddaughter who I appointed as photographer.

The truly amazing result is that this borehole is gushing water at 6,000 litres per hour. . . . way beyond our wildest dreams. It is enough, not only for the 560 school children and their teachers but for the many villagers who live around the school.