A major emphasis of this project is directed towards hygiene and water conservation awareness in three schools- Ratu Meli Memorial Primary School (Nacula Village, Yasawas), Navunisea Primary School (Silana Village, Dawasamu District) and The Dawasamu Secondary School (Dawasamu District). Through GVI’s Education Enrichment program, volunteers helped to deliver activities and awareness lessons on hand washing, safe drinking water sources in the village, and the importance of turning off taps and conserving water at all times. These lessons, paired with the improvements to the water systems in school compounds, has created a solid base for ongoing education and improvements to the level of general daily hygiene in each of these schools.
The Dawasamu Secondary School is located two and half hours north of Suva City down a rough coastal road. Around 170 students from the fifteen villages and three settlements that make up the Dawasamu District and the remote Nakorotubu district attend this secondary school daily. As the only secondary school in the immediate region, there is ongoing pressure on the facilities of the school compound. The school facilities and teachers’ quarters rely on a nearby dam as their water source. This dam is in poor condition and is an unreliable and unprotected water source. During heavy rain, dirt and residue from the surrounding hill sides rush into the dam contaminating the source.
During an initial visit to assess the water situation, the MWH water project team found that all the taps in the compound were producing thick brown water. The teachers of the school reported that many of the students had become sick and that no one was drinking the water and that most of the 200 students and teachers in the compound either drank very little water or relied on surrounding villages and settlements for water. During the third phase of the MWH project, the team constructed a new 5,300litre rainwater harvesting system which is now collecting water from the new school roof.
The school now has a reliable drinking water source for both students and resident teachers!
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