The CIC School in Upper Allen Town, Sierra Leone was constructed in a resettlement area to provide primary education to children orphaned and or displaced during the civil war. A new school building was funded by Schools For Salone in 2011.
CIC Primary School currently has 473 students attending grades 1 through 6 (211 boys and 262 girls) with a staff of 10.
Children are from families resttled in Kola Tree Village, one of the many areas around Freetown populated by those displaced during the civil war in Sierra Leone. Details of the School have been supplied by staff of Schools For Salone (www.schoolsforsalone.org) and a site visit conducted for this project by Safer Future Youth Development Projects (www.saferfuture.org), our local partner in this and other projects in Sierra Leone.
Construction of the school included a latrine, but no hand washing facility is provided. The latrine does provide separate latrines for boys and girls, seems an adequate facility but lacks a hand washing station.
In addtion to the physical wash station, we have asked Safer Future Youth Development Projects (www.saferfuture.org) to provide sanitation training with their Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) program as part of the water system installation. This training will include training manuals and School Sanitation and Health Education handbooks for teachers and a 5 day course conducted for teachers, School Management Committees and students as outlined in the cost proposal.
The sanitation training provided by SFYDP at the school will hopefully translate into improved sanitation practices in the homes of children and staff. The week long course will reach 3 teachers, 2 School Management Committee members and 15 students from the CiC school.
The installation of the rainwater harvesting system is intended to be a demonstration of the quality and the ready availability of this source of safe drinking water. It is hoped that this will provide a model for less expensive versions utilizing locally available recycled materials for installation in the village homes for safe drinking and hand washing.
The Children In Crisis Primary School has a new building terraced into a steep hillside with no nearby wells or other water sources. The nature of the terrain suggest the groundwater would not be present at depths practical for access by hand pumped wells, so the 473 children and 10 staff members are without a source of water for drinking or hand washing other than water that can be carried up the seep hill to the school.
The high annual rainfall in Allen Town makes this school an excellent candidate for rainwater harvesting and therefore a good demonstration project to show the staff, students and villagers the benefits of this source of clean, safe water. The new metal roof of the school provides an ideal catchment surface, but the steep hillside will require considerable effort to place the storage tanks. Terracing will be necessary to provide level areas for the tank foundations. A system similar to the one proposed here was installed last year at the Barina Agricultural Secondary School in Makali, Sierra Leone with similar annual rainfall. The system design and tankage calculation proved to be well suited and the school successfully provided drinking water and hand washing thoughout the 2011-2012 dry season with a good surplus. For that system serving 320 students and 15 staff we installed four 5000 liter tanks. With 483 users at the CIC school we are planning to install five 5000 liter tanks plus some smaller tanks specifically for hand washing stations near the latrines.
The sanitation training provided by SFYDP staff will explain the importance of hand washing at school and at home.
Rainwater harvesting is well suited to the needs of the CIC school. The resource is abundant (during the wet season) and the technology is appropriate to the mission. No pumps are required as the system is gravity flow. The leaf/debris extractors and "first flush" diverters incorporated in the collection plumbing require very minimal maintenance and the quality of collected rainwater will be excellent if proper screening and storage practices are observed -- filtering or additional treatment should not be required.
Local labor will be needed for site preparation as terracing will be needed to provide a level area to place the tanks. Becuse of the steep slopes and heavy rainfall the terraced platforms must be protected with pony walls of cement, in-filled with rubble and sand. Because of the limited area available for storage tanks and large number of users, it may not be practical to provide water in sufficent amounts to last throughout the entire dry season, but our calculations indicate that demands should be met for all but a month or so.
The roto-molded water tanks are maunfactured in Freetown, as are the PVC pipe and fittings that will be used in the system, so local procurement of equipment and labor will be used.
The project will be completed in a single phase, although the site preparation may proceed the installation by some weeks to make certain preparations are complete before tanks and plumbing materials are delivered to the school.
As a resettlement area, Kola Tree Village does not have the structure of well established villages and towns under a Paramount Chief. The school was founded by Aunty Sento and Aunty Musu and is run by them and their staff with support from Schools for Salone (SFS), Masanga Children's Fund (MCF) and teacher salaries from the Ministry of Education. Ownership of the water system will be with the School, to be operated and maintained with assitance from SFS and MCF.
The Ministry of Education maintains teacher certifications and pays their salaries.
As part of the water system project, staff of Safer Future Youth Development Projects will conduct a 3 day course in sanitation for the school and staff. It is anticipated that the information provided at the school will be further diseminated into the village stimulating improved sanitation practices, latrine construction and household-sized RWH systems. Safer Future run vocational traning programs in various fields including well repair, solar power installation, agricultural practices, woodworking and latrine construction. To this list Bank On Rain would like to add training in installation of RWH systems, either as part of their vocational curriculum or through micro-loan incentives and opprotunities.
An area of some concern is diversion of water intended for the school to private use after hours. The school property is open and security may need to be addressed by use of locking water taps or other methods. The Aunties are well respected and have the support of families in the area. Their influence with the village may be sufficient to prevent problems.
Estimated direct costs for RWH system
Bank On Rain -- $4802
Schools For Salone -- $577
In-kind contributions of labor during construction and installation
The RWH system requires no pumps, power, filter changes or water treatment. Routine maintenance consists of periodic cleaning of the debris screen filters, draining the "first flush" diverter traps following the rains preceeded by long dry periods and repair/replacement of damaged water taps or other plumbing fittings. The water tanks are treated with carbon black pigment to resist ultra-violet rays and should have a useful operational life of 25 years or more. PVC pipe may need replacement or repair if physically damaged, but otherwise should last 15 years or more.
Damage by vandalism or theft are difficult to predict, however should major repair be required, assistance from BOR. SFS, MCF or SFYDP would be likely.
The primary metric we use to track project success is information from the users that the system has provided water reliably throughout the year. This is gained by follow-up as direct site visits by BOR staff or by our partners in Sierra Leone.
Another important metric but more difficult to determine is an assessment of changes in days missed by students or teachers due to water borne illness. If good sanitation is not practiced in the home, clean water provided at school alone cannot improve this statistic, however the teachers can usually provide a good assessment.
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