Project in brief
Water supply and eco-friendly construction by ISSB-bricks are the primary focus of our project in the south-west of Uganda. In 2015/16 we built two underground rainwater tanks for the Secondary & Vocational School in Gayaza. Upcoming activities in 2017: To improve hygiene for cooking and meals we are planning to build an open dining hall with integrated kitchen and storage room from ISSB-bricks.
Living conditions are more difficult in Rakai District compared to other regions of Uganda. Many children and young people lost their parents due to HIV. Some being cared for by their relatives, others have to face their lives alone. School fees for secondary school often surpass the funds of those families. Our partner ARCOS undertakes considerable efforts to allow school attendance for the most needy. Large distances and high costs of transport are the reason why many students live on the school grounds in very basic dormitories.
Our engagement was started as ARCOS was not able to cover the minimum water need of their day- and boarding students. They had to fetch water from an unsafe and ill-kept shallow well 3 km apart wasting precious hours of their learning time.
Two underground rainwater tanks now supply water to 405 students (including 204 boarding students) most of the year: 10-20 litres of clean water for drinking, hygiene and to do the laundry. The ISSB-bricks for the construction are made by compacting earth from the school grounds mixed with cement. The manual presses to attain straight and curved interlocking blocks have been purchased in the course of the past project stages. Thus the technical requirements are already in place to produce ISSB's. But our partners are still lacking technical and commercial understanding to create income from a ISSB-production of larger scale. Furthermore a "visable" building aboveground is needed as a showpiece to demonstrate the benefits of ISSB-technology to interested stakeholders.
ARCOS approached us with a pressing problem: Students do not have a decent place to take their meals. They eat in their dormitories. Leftover food and dirty dishes have led to unacceptable hygienic conditions. In the kitchen is no room to store foods and the stoves use too much firewood. A new kitchen building is needed to improve hygiene and economy for cooking.
In 2017 we are planning activities as follows:
- Further training of our partner ARCOS in project management, accounting and communicating
- Construction of a covered dining-hall with store, kitchen and firewood-saving stoves
- Training of the kitchen staff in hygiene and being economical
- Build framework for commercial use of ISSB-technology by ARCOS
Following a comprehensive WASH-approach we will focus in particular on a hand washing station and waste water handling for the coming years.