'Between true friends even water drunk together is sweet enough.' African proverb
Water Tank Project
The majority of people in Nyamagongo rely on contaminated water from Lake Victoria. The lake receives millions of liters of untreated sewage flow daily. As a consequence, diseases like schistosomiasis, cholera, and diarrhea are common health problem in this region.
Villagers walk for hours across long distances to collect lake water, then boil the water before use, spending precious resources on fuel. In addition, devoting hours a day to obtaining water leads to many lost economic and educational opportunities. The residents of Nyamagongo asked for our help in securing a source of safe water, closer to home.
In 2009, we built a rainwater harvesting system that collects water off the large tin roof of our school and stores it in a 12,000-gallon water tank; two years later we built a second, 24,000-gallon tank to accommodate more villagers. These tanks have provided a source of sustainable, potable water for many local residents.
In summer of 2012, we taught members of our school maintenance staff the basic operation and maintenance of the tanks. In July 2015, our volunteer Paul Park analyzed the quality of tank water.
Rainwater harvesting is a sustainable, scalable system, it has the potential to be replicated and to address the need for access to safe drinking water throughout this region.