Tanzanian visit October 2017
Following Jims return from his site visits in April 2017 the Committee had to make the difficult decision as to which schools would benefit most from the provision of water and where we could ensure that money donated was being used to maximum effect. The schools chosen were Chem-Chem, Kiterini, Jipe and Dorothy’s English Medium linked to Juhudi.
Day 1: Chem Chem Primary School
We were accompanied on the visit by Clive Rook with his sons Jonathan and Stuart who had donated the total cost of the well in memory of Lynne Rook, wife and mother who died of cancer in June 2016. Prior to her diagnosis Lynne had attended one of Jim’s presentations, she was so impressed by the charity that during her final illness she requested that the family support the charity.
The visitor’s book was signed and a presentation ceremony took place which consisted of introductions of the teachers and representatives from the well and village committees. Jim was presented with a small beautifully carved ornament of a dug-out canoe with two removable figures. After these ceremonies Clive, Jonathan and Stuart were invited to officially open the well.
Before leaving each child was given a beanie hat, two pens, pencils and toothbrush. We had also taken a number of balloons which was another first for the children and which gave them a great deal of pleasure, such a simple thing but one of wonder to them.
Day 2: Kiterini Primary School and Kivulini
Kiterini school is situated in a drought ridden area beyond the more fertile areas north east of Moshi. On this occasion, we were accompanied by Pastor Vomo, Manager of Majitech, from our drilling the drilling company we have used for all of our Wells. The welcome, the speeches and opening took a similar format to that described at Chem- Chem all be it on a much smaller scale. A cockerel was presented to Jim, but somehow this cockerel disappeared!
Next stop of the day was to Kivulini Primary School where in 2010 we had installed a Wind pump, which initially had been sufficient to supply water to a large number of children and an extended community. We were informed by the school during previous visits, that for 2 to 3 months of the year the turbine did not produce enough water. We replaced the turbine with our now standard solar powered well.
Day 3: Jipe Secondary School
Prior to our journey to Tanzania Jim had received information from Majitech that the drilling at Jipe secondary school had found water but not suitable for drinking water. The committee agreed to another drilling some 100 metres from the last drilling site. This did not yield any water. It was decided to drill again 500 metres further up the mountain. In order to get the drilling rig into position the pupils had helped the Majitech staff to slash and burn a way through the thick scrub. We arrived at the school in pouring rain and were greeted by the Head Master and invited to his office to sign the visitors’ book. A member of the Majtech staff informed us that at that point no water had been found. This was obviously a great disappointment to us all and potentially we would have had to walk away from this Well due to the extra cost we had already incurred. Luckily, this was not the case as we were driven to the site only to be advised that water had been found. A huge relief all round, rain from the sky and water from the ground.
The water was tested and on the initial results appeared to be satisfactory. Before proceeding to line the well, the water is sent to the Government Laboratory to be fully tested. If this water proves satisfactory, the well is lined, a trench dug 500 metres down the mountain to the tank on a plinth with solar panels erected over the tank. Trenches are dug to the water tap stands. Throughout the period of drilling Majitech staff camp in a tent near their equipment.
On returning to the school Jim was presented with two framed certificates and we were invited to share a meal. The Head Master of the school stated the children were missing a lot of school due to frequent episodes of diarrhoea. With the provision of fresh clean water hopefully that is now in the past.
Day 4: Dorothy’s English Medium linked with Juhudi Primary School
Prior to our trip Jim had been asked if the yet to be erected school could be named Dorothy’s English Medium in memory of his late wife Dorothy. Jim was delighted to agree to this.
On the way to the school we stopped in Moshi to meet the Evangelical Lutheran Bishop of the Diocese of North Eastern Tanzania, Bishop Dr. Frederick Oneal Shoo. Bishop Shoo was inaugurated in the presence of Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa and other government dignitaries in February 2016. In his inaugural speech he called on the Government to fight against corruption, calling for affordable primary and secondary education, a greater contribution towards the country’s social services especially education and health. (At present the Lutheran Church, having the second largest church congregation in the country are involved in all these supporting agencies) We then resumed our trip to the school The Bishop and his staff had arrived before us. He was officiating in the dedication of a new pastor and the baptism of 10 babies. The church was full of villagers dressed in their colourful finery and two choirs.
The church is being used as a primary school until money is raised to build a two class room school. The church our drive Thade attends in Moshi supports this church. Thade paid for the wooden altar, pulpit, and lectern and is contributing to the building of the school.
The 18th Well was officially opened and at the end of the church services we were presented with jewellery and dressed as Masai.
Beanie hats, pens, pencils and toothbrushes were left for the school children.
Site visit April 2017
Jim set out on his thirteenth trip to Tanzania with a gruelling itinerary to visit nine schools in four days which had been identified as in dire need of clean fresh water either by ourselves on an earlier trip or by local partners in Tanzania that we have built up a good rapport since 2009.
In addition to these schools Jim re-visited some of the other sites where we have installed wells.
Here is a summary of his visit.
Day 1: Four schools were visited.
Mrieny Primary School in the Marangu district. Their current water source is a 3 kilometre walk each way. The school has 280 pupils, 8 classrooms and 6 teaching staff. There is a dispensary 1km away which treats 1200 people with no water supply.
Lwami Primary School lies within Mwanga district, This is a small school with 170 pupils, 6 teachers and 8 classrooms. This school is in a very dry area and they are desperate for water. Currently water is delivered to the school by lorry and is purchased by the school, The high cost means that only the bare minimum amount of water is purchased
Jipe Secondary School also in the Mwanga district has 350 pupils all of which board at the school due to the distance they have to travel. There are 17 teachers and 11 classrooms. They collect water from a mountain spring but there is no supply between January and April, an alternative water source is Lake Jipe which is very poor drinking water. There is a local community of 1200.
Kilvulini Primary School is a school we previously installed a wind pump in August 2010. When there is no wind they quickly run out of water. At the time of the visit the pump was not working as the turbine was damaged in heavy winds. Over the years there have also been a number of maintenance problems which proved to be expensive to repair. We intend to replace this wind pump with a solar pump this year.
Day 2: Four schools were visited, one of them in very extreme conditions.
Chem Chem Primary school In the Moshi Rural district is the most remote and poorest school which we have visited in the last eight years. There are 289 students, 6 classrooms and 8 teachers, Their water supply is provided by a water company and is very expensive. The supply is regularly cut off because the school cannot afford to pay for it. We set off in a 4 x 4 vehicle and the journey took us over the driest, most barren terrain I have seen. We eventually arrived at a river crossing, due to the rainy season the river was too deep to cross at that point so we had to make a detour to another crossing further up river. Due to the condition of the track we had to abandon the vehicle and continue the journey on foot. This was real bush country and the temperature was about 35 degrees. Once we reached the river we had to pay to cross in a dug out boat as this was the only way to reach the school. Once across the river we continued our journey on foot over very wet, water logged terrain up to our knees in water. Eventually two pika pika motor bikes arrived and we continued the 3km journey, 3 people on each bike. The return journey was exactly the same. One of the lads on the motor bikes told boat man he should be entered into the Guinness book of records as I was the first white man (muzungu) to cross the river in his boat.
Dorothy’s English Medium School is a relatively new school based in the Simanjiro region. It has been set up in a church and they are now starting to build classrooms. They have 200 children including kindergarden. I was filled with great pride and emotion when I was asked my permission to officially name the school Dorothy’s English Medium School in honour of Dorothy and the good work that our charity was doing for the children and local communities in Tanzania.
Juhudi Primary school, 2km from Dorothy’s English Medium School is a site which we visited last year when a number of pupils had contracted Cholera from drinking water from Lake Simanjaro. Together the schools have 425 pupils and a surrounding community of around 4000 people,
Korongo School was a site that we visited initially in February 2016 and provided a well which was sunk in October 2016. Jim re-visited this site to ensure that everything was working well.
Day 3: Three Schools visited
Kahe Primary School has a register of 482 pupils, 13 classrooms and 10 Teaching staff. There is a local community of 800. Their current source of water comes from a local well and tank with a hand pump. They pay 20,000 tanzanian shillings for the water.
Mwangaria Primary School in Moshi Rural area has 286 pupils, 7 classrooms and 6 teachers. There is a local community of 400 to 500 children (600 including other children). There is a tap at the school which costs them 10,000 Tanzanian shillings month. The tap can only be used to provide water for drinking as its too expensive for anything else.
Kiterini Prmary School has 465 pupils, 9 classrooms and 9 teachers. The local community is 1000. The school buy water supplied by tank and it is very expensive at 100,000 Tanzanian shillings month.
Day 4: Previous Schools Revisited
Today was my last day in Tanzania and was spent visiting schools at Machame, Nkoraya and Uduru as they are sited within a reasonable travelling distance to where I was staying. It was good to see what progress had been made at these schools with the provision of water and to establish that there were no problems with the wells. It was time to leave Tanzania late afternoon for the long journey back home having had a tiring but productive trip.
The difficult decision now has to be made as to which schools we will be able to help this year by the provision of a Well.