After a bumpy and dusty twenty hour journey Alpha Two arrived at the project site. The journey was not without its challenges; a four hour breakdown in a remote location in midday sun tested and proved our ability to look after each other as a team! We took the opportunity to bond and develop a team contract. Upon arrival in the village of Endagikot a tired, but positive and focused team, immediately set up camp right in the midst of Endagikot Primary School. This would be the home of Alpha 2 for the coming two weeks.
A warm welcome was offered by the children of Endagikot Primary School, who sang songs which included the Tanzanian national anthem. Over a cup of steaming Chai the group was introduced and chatted to teachers. It was evident how pleased everyone was to know Alpha 2 would be working together with the community and the school.
Over the next two days we met with project partner the Diocese of Imbulu Development Department (DMDD) to discuss the joint project goals and objectives, specifically improving School Water and Sanitation Hygiene (SWASH). It was apparent from the discussions that certain health and hygiene standards of students were inadequate and needed to be addressed e.g. the lack of suitable toilet facilities. This specific issue directly affects girls reaching the age of menstruation; as a result many drop out of school. The identified health and hygiene related concerns were further enforced when Alpha 2 met with the village leaders of Endagikot.
We learnt that Endagikot has suffered a drought for six years. For village members water is a valued but limited and strictly regulated resource. The school has access to a metered water tap on alternating days, the alternative source for water when the tap is switched off is a nearby stream. Alpha 2 were concerned with the quality and cleanliness of the alternate water source: the slow flowing water area is muddy and frequented by both farm and wild animals that visit the area to drink.
The reason for the water restriction is due to an inadequate Gravity Water Feed System (GWFS). The system was built in 2003, but since this time the population of Endagikot has experienced rapid growth. This has put a strain on the existing water supply, making it incapable of meeting the community’s needs.
The people of Endagikot are passionate to develop and grow as a community. However, the limited water supply poses life affecting problems and challenges that ultimately suppress the village’s ability to expand and flourish as a community. The village members plan to develop agriculture crops and introduce poultry farming, but without water their plans are dramatically hindered.
We in Alpha 2 have been greatly encouraged by the support of the Endagikot community and the acknowledged importance of the work being carried out by Raleigh Tanzania. The team are keen to get to know the school children over the coming weeks and to get involved in awareness raising and latrine construction on the school site.