Rainwater Collection

June 2012

A 72,000 litre rainwater collection tank is to be built at the back of the school by local man, Mika Msongo, who has built several such tanks in the area. The meeting set up for Mika and Peter to discuss details was very successful and once the site for the tank was decided the contract was drawn up and signed.  Work to begin right away so that the tank will be completed in readiness for the next rains which come in November/December.  This water tank is key to the success of the lunch program.   The rainwater harvesting system uses guttering to catch the rainwater and store it in the tank so that the vegetable garden can be irrigated and maintained throughout the year.   We were reliably informed that the rainwater collected is clean and suitable for drinking thus providing extra water for the children throughout the day.

October 2012

Mika has completed the tank well in time for the short rains which should come at the end of November.  This tank, commissioned by SDSU, is key to the success of the vegetable garden which will provide lunch for the children.

 December 2012

Confirmation received that the guttering system which channels the rainwater from the roof into the tank has been installed, just in time for the first rain.  Last I heard it was raining heavily and the tank was 33% full.  This is great news and crucial to the success of the vegetable garden created for the Lunch Program.

October 2013

Seeing the devastation to the crops in Kongwa area due to the failure of the water supply this year made us realise how delicate the balance is.  Although the local Council have sent for another drill to alleviate the problem with the water supply, it was decided that another rainwater collection tank for the school is a necessity if the vegetable garden is to be sustained. To this end a contract was set up with the local tank builder, Mika, and he is pulling out all the stops to try and get it finished before the rains come.
Water Tank Contract Water tank discussions between Peter and Mika, with Moses as translator, Andries as back-up and Omari looking on.  Final handshake seals the deal. Signing contract

The new tank is to be 72,000 litres, the same size as the previous one.  Deeper higher quality guttering is to be purchased and fitted to both the  new tank and the previous one to maximise the amount of water collected.

February 2014

Great news from Kongwa!  Not only is the new tank completed and the higher quality, deeper,  guttering fitted, but the rains have come . . .  really good rains, the like of which have not been seen for years.   Schoolchildren are out digging shambas (vegetable gardens) and anyone with even a small patch of land is planting to make the most of it.   This all bodes well for the shamba at the school and the “Lunch Program” which didn’t do so well last year because of the awful water issues.  Not only will the second tank help to alleviate the problems but the good rains will, we hope, make it work this year.

IMGA0358 It’s a beauty and I hear it’s already full of water.


October 2014  

The water shortage goes on!  During the first few months of this year, whilst the tanks were filling with water from a good rainy season, the borehole supply failed.  The school was unable to cover the cost of repair so the rainwater in the tanks was a godsend and used as drinking water for the children.

During my visit to Kongwa I looked into the costs of the borehole water supply and established that there is an extremely expensive monthly payment to receive this supply.  The matter was discussed with the Headmaster and we investigated the possibility of another water tank.  Mika, the tank man, was called to suggest the best site for a new tank and I agreed to look into raising the funds for it.  In order to further develop the lunch programme and sustain the vegetable garden a reliable water source is imperative.

September 2017  

The rains didn’t come as hoped earlier in the year and the crops failed.  Whilst we are looking into a more permanent solution we have heard that the Government has located a new source of water which is expected to service the people of Kongwa in the months to come.  We are looking forward to hearing details of this when we visit in October.