Constructing Rainwater Harvesting Systems in Tanzanian Schools
In the Mtwara region, one of the poorest in Tanzania, the health status of the people is below the national average and infant mortality is well above it. Only around 30% of the population has access to safe water and adequate sanitation.
Malaria is prevalent throughout the region, and many of diseases afflicting people are water related.
Global Water Challenge and African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) have partnered and are constructing rainwater harvesting systems in schools in the Mtwara region of Tanzania, Africa. This will help to implement clean water, safe sanitation and hygiene practices in this impoverished region of Tanzania.
Women and children can travel around six kilometers a day to collect water. The opportunities for women to earn incomes are severely limited by the time and effort in fetching water, and girls often miss school to collect water for their families. Children's health and school attendance rates, especially among girls, are clearly improved when school-based programs are accompanied by community strengthening and infrastructure development.
A rainwater harvesting system carries rainwater from roof tops using pipes where it is then collected in a large storage tank. The stored water is used for drinking. Providing rainwater harvesting at schools and the community will eliminate the need for children to walk for hours to fetch water and gives students the opportunity to focus on their education. It will also prove to significantly improve basic hygiene behaviors, decrease absenteeism among students, and decrease water- and sanitation-related diseases.
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