Madaliso Primary Water Project
Madaliso Primary Community school
Madaliso Primary Community school in a small rural community near Chipata, Zambia does not have a sustainable water supply at their school. The goal of this grant is to help the school get an electric water pump. The school has 1016 students and eight volunteer teachers two act as administrators. Since the electric pump in the borehole was struck by lightning in February 2022, students walk from the school to a community well to get drinking water. The community well is 2 meters in depth, primarily sourced by rainwater and dries up in the dry summer/season. Currently it is the dry season and there is no water. The community and students rely on the school well during the dry season. Students will have greater ability to focus on studies if they aren’t thirsty and don’t have to walk to a community well to fetch water. Safe drinking and washing water will impact the health and learning of individual students’ families and the community. Community members are working with local businesses to get help with pump installation and or funding to install a pump and lightning arrestor. Funding is needed as the community members live in poverty.
Chipata Zambia is a peri-urban community with a population of approximately 500,000 in the Eastern Province of Zambia. It is an agricultural community and work/employment is variable depending on the growing season. The eastern province of Zambia accounted for 19.61 per cent of the total agricultural production in Zambia with maze and sunflower being the major crops. Maize is the principal cash crop of cropped land as well as the main staple crop. Sunflower is processed into oil used for cooking. The agricultural sector in Zambia supports the livelihoods of 85% of the population.
As the rural area outside Chipata grew, so did the need for a school. The rural community rallied together and worked to obtain funding from a Japanese organization to build a school. In November 2020, Madaliso Primary Community school was erected along with a borehole and electric pump. The school has no electricity and solar panels were installed to supply energy to run the electric pump. The water pump was working well until it was struck by lightning in January 2022.
Madaliso Primary Community School teaches early childhood to grade 8. There are a total of 1016 students, 505 girls and 511 boys. Many of the students are orphans. There are eight volunteer teachers total, with two of them acting in administrative roles in addition to teaching responsibilities. Teacher to student ratio is 1:127. Teachers earn $200 Kwacha/month, the equivalent of $12.30 USD.
Peace Corps Response Volunteer’s work with Madaliso school and with the Madaliso Community to help integrate the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) Program into their school. The goal of CSE is to decrease human immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV), sexually transmitted infections (STI's), unplanned pregnancies and gender based violence. Both the school and community are very supportive of CSE and have been relentless supporters of education in general. Unfortunately, education and health are being compromised without a secure water supply.
Without a functional water pump for the borehole, students have been walking from the school to a community well. The community well is 2 meters in depth and primarily sourced by rainwater. Using tins with ropes attached, they draw water from the well and take it back to the school for drinking. They have no water to wash their hands. The water in the shallow community well dries up in summer/dry season and community members along with the students, have been relying on the school water supply.
Currently it is the dry season in Zambia and the community dried up approximately 2 months ago. There is no water left to draw. Water sourced from boreholes are more reliable and safer than shallow wells. Typically, they do not dry up in the summer/dry season and there is less chance of contamination since it is a deeper well.
Project Update – Dec, 2022
We were able to complete the solar pump installation before the Christmas deadline. The school and local community now has a secure resource for water, which allows the students and the community to focus on education and allow for overall better health outcomes. There was $100 remaining in the budget which was used for building repairs and repair of a water line that connects to the outside faucet.