plan 425RWH System for Teachers Quarters, Barina Secondary School, Makali, Sierra Leone


A building for house teachers and staff is under construction at the Barina Agricultural Secondary School, Makali, Sierra Leone. The quarters has a new metal roof ideal for rainwater harvesting and no other water source is available nearby.


The Barina Agricultural Scondary School was the focus of the Bank On Rain demonstration project to supply safe, clean drinking water for 300 students in 2011. This systen included four plastic tanks, each of 5000 liter capacity and was calculated to supply drinking water to the school throughout the dry season, thus demonstrating that rainwater was a readily available resource in Sierra Leone. The system provided sufficient safe water for the entire school throughout the 2011/2012 dry season.

To retain good teachers in this rural school a teachers quarters was constructed in 2012 with funding from the US Peace Corps and private donations, however the teachers quarters plan did not include a water source for drinking, cooking and washing. The primary mission of Bain On Rain is to demonstrate the suitability of rainwater as a primary source os safe, clean water in regions with sufficent rainfall, and the construction of the teachers quarters affords the opportunity to extend the educational value of the school system to one specifically intended for full residential use.


Makali, , Sierra Leone


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Primary Focus: Rainwater Harvesting
Secondary Focus: Water Conservation

People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 10

Ten members of the teachers and staff of the Barina school will be living in the new quarters and will have requirement for drinking water, food preparation, cooking and cleaning. Estimated water requirements are 20 liters per day per person. The nearby Barina School has a RWH system for drinking and hand washing installed by Bank On Rain in 2011 that is functioning well, but was not intended to support the higher demand of full residence at the school. The School system is adequate to provide clean water for drinking and hand washing for the 300 students but was not designed to support the additional demands of the new teachers quarters.

School Children Getting Water: 0

Although the students will not directly utilize water from the RWH system at the teachers quarters, adding another smaller system will prevent increased demands on the installation providing drinking and washing water at the school.

People Getting Sanitation: 10

The teachers and staff will have sufficient water for drinking as well as cooking, washing and sanitation.

People Getting Other Benefits: 300

The RWH system at the teachers quarters will provide a demonstration of the benefits of rainwater collection as a safe, readily available resource in Sierra Leone. All materials used in the system will be purchased in Sierra Leone, and most of these prducts are locally manufactured (the tanks and PVC pipe is made in Freetown).

Start Date: 2012-09-23

Completion Date: 2012-10-04

Technology Used:

Using the per capita daily requirement of 20 liters (often quoted for Africa) and 10 fulltime residents in the teachers quarters, the demand equates to 6000 liters per month (10 persons x 20 liters x 30 days). The average annual rainfall statistics were used to calculate the tankage requirement needed to satisfy this demand throughout a typical dry season as shown in the attached tankage calculation document.

Modelling various stroage volumes, we selected a total capacity of 9000 liters as a reasonable trade off in capacity and expense. Three black plastic 3000 liter water tanks are small enough to be transported on a small truck from Freetown (where they are manufactured). By using three tanks, one can be held in reserve to make users aware when water supplies are low, and if necessary personal usage can be reduced until a rainfall event replentishes the supply. Using the average distribution of precipitation, it may be necessary for the teachers/staff to lower their daily water consumption at times during the months of February and March.

The plumbing system collecting rainwater from the 308 square meters of roof will consist of PVC gutters flowing through a leaf/debris excluder into a "first flush" diverter (diverts the first water washing off of the roof in a rain event to be diverted from entering the storage tanks) and into the three 3000 liter tanks, each interconnected but individually valved so that one may be isolated as a reserve.

Installation will include constructing a raised, level platform for placing the tanks, usually by pouring a concrete retaining wall and fulling the interior volume with rubble and smoothed sand. Infilling pipe, interconnects and overflows will be at the top of each vertical tank, so that if a valve or pipe should break, only the water in tha affected tank will drain and 2/3 of the stored water will remain.

The system will be gravity-feed with no pumps or power requirements. The components are relatively maintenance free with the only routine requirements being the discarding of water collected in the fist-flush diverter and occassionally checking that the screen of the leaf/debris excluder is clean and there are no holes in the screens. The black plastic tanks are designed for use exposed to direct sunlight and are guaranteed for 15 years. The PVC piping is similarly suited for use in direct sun, but should valves or pipe sections break, repair is simple and relatively inexpensive.

Should problems develop with the system, Bank On Rain has committed to working on projects specifally in Sierra Leone and will plan periodic site visits to make certain systems are functioning properly. Should assistance be required, Bank On Rain or our local NGO partner Safer Future Youth Development Projects ( in Allen Town can provide help.


This project is actually the third phase of work at Barina School by Bank on Rain. We completed a 20,000 liter RWH demonstation project for the school in 2011, funded the completion of a hand dug well on the school grounds in 2012 and are now proposing a

Community Organization:

Makali Village is run by a committee of Elders within a Chiefdom under a Paramount Chief, who happens to reside in Makali. Barina School is operated independently from the Village, but with considerable interaction.

The value of projects at the school as demonstations of RWH is in the transfer of information from the students to their families in the Village.

Government Interaction:

The proposed project is not connected directly to any government programs other than the school operating under the Minisrty of Education that certifies and pays teacher salaries and the U S Peace Corp that supplies a Volunteer as a teacher.

Ancillary activities:

During the installation of the 20,000 liter system at the school in 2011 the staff of Safer Future conducted sanitation training for the staff and interested villagers as part of the program. The start of school term was delayed last year and it was not in session at the time of the sanitation training. We have again planned to do the installation just before the start of term, and we will attempt to arrange for another training session by Safer Future when the students are in session.

The actual installation utilized villagers and staff with skills in carpentry and concrete work with help from others at the school. We anticipate a similar community effort should this project be funded.

Other Issues:

Bank On Rain have established a positive relationship with the school Principal, teachers, Village Elders and some of the villagers through our project last year. We hope to build on these relationships with this effort. Eric Silverman, a Peace Corps Volunteer teacher at the school has extended to serve a 3rd year (through August 2013) and will continue as an excellent link for BOR to continue involvement. For more photos of the construction process, see:

We note that the BOR hand-wash stations had been dis-assembled to support the construction (recyled white "fish totes" and blue plastic drums supplying water to mix cement). Since school was not in session, this was probably a good use for the tanks. We hope they are returned for use as hand-wash stations now that construction is complete.

The building is now ready for a RWH system to supply water for drinking, food preparation and washing.

Maintenance Revenue:

Plastic tanks and PVC piping are proven performers in direct sunlight (15 yr warranty on tanks), all materials purchased locally, simple system to maintain/repair.

Maintenance Cost: $20


Bank On Rain intends to make regular follow-up visits to projects in Sierra Leone and maintains communication with other local or locally active NGO's for visit reports (at least annually).

Cost: $21,216

The system consists of (3) 3000 liter black plastic water tanks and associated plumbing to collect rain water from the quarters roof and store sufficent volume to to provide water throughout the dry season. The cost breakdown is attached.

Co Funding Amount: $14,584

Bank On Rain

Community Contribution Amount: $300

In-kind labor

Fund Requested: $6,632


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    No peer review

    Rajesh Shah of Peer Water Exchange

    This application will inherit the peer review of BoR's other similar application and reduce the peer review efforts for all.

    This application will inherit the peer review of BoR's other similar application and reduce the peer review efforts for all.

  • Not Reviewed

    by Peer Water Exchange