Thursday, May 14, 2009
Spring 2009 Project Update: During the second half of 2008 Project Kesho focused work in several main areas: facilitating the installation of clean water sources in highly populated areas of the village, continuing our support for the village clinic and working with the primary schools and community members to increase classroom space at both the Lundamatwe and Ulonge schools. Classrooms: During the fall of 2008, Project Kesho completed its goal to complete one classroom at each primary school before the new school year started in January 2009. At the Ulonge Primary School we constructed both a classroom and office space for the teachers. This is the third and final teacher's office needed at Ulonge. One classroom at the Lundamatwe Primary School was also constructed. It is a very large classroom so it can be used as a classroom as well as for community meetings and events. Both classrooms have been painted with age-appropriate educational material. This picture shows the newly completed classroom at the Lundamatwe Primary School. The addition of this classroom has reduced class sizes and provides an additional community meeting space for villagers. Lundamatwe Primary School students sit in their newly built classroom at desks also furnished by Project Kesho project funds. After this picture was taken, the classroom was also painted with educational murals to enhance student learning. Clinic: During the fall and winter of 2008 several changes took place at the village clinic. The doctor for the previous year and a half left the area and went back to medical school. A new doctor replaced him in September but was not paid by the District for his first two months of work. The Kilolo District discontinued its regular medical supply updates that were common during the previous summer. This resulted in the clinic having little more than basic medical supplies during the fall and winter of 2008, and as result the care the village residents received diminished. An under-trained village nurse completed the day-to-day operations due to the doctor’s absence. In November the village endured a large storm that caused part of one side of the clinic roof to collapse. No one was hurt, but the gas-powered refrigerator was ruined, along with the vaccinations inside. The District has not replaced the refrigerator as of March 2009. So the regular vaccinations of children in the Lundamatwe village and the surrounding villages have been discontinued. Project Kesho has continued to help the clinic through these tough times by giving doctor requested medical supplies on several occasions and by holding village meetings to promote the services offered by the dispensary and the importance of health care in promoting a healthy society. Previously, the residents of the village underutilized the health services of the clinic. During these village meetings, several myths surrounding the clinic were addressed. Villagers were concerned that there were only a few medicines at the clinic and that the doctor was not present on a regular basis. Both of these items were untrue and the villagers left the meetings with a greater understanding of the services available and the doctors availability at the clinic. This picture depicts the medical clinic near the Lundamatwe Primary School after extensive storms caused major roof and supplies damage. The roof has been repaired, but damage to supplies included a loss of vaccines and operable refrigerator. Water: This year Project Kesho facilitated the construction of 5 water projects located in highly populated areas of the village. All five of these projects are short depth wells, three of them have pumps and two are simply bucket drawn wells. All three boreholes with pumps are located near the primary schools, which are the most densely populated areas of the community. One of the other boreholes has been placed near the village dispensary to provide it with a clean and accessible source of water while the other borehole is situated near two roads in a densely populated part of the village, called Lusaula, which is about 2 miles from the center of the village. The above borehole and attached pump is located near the Lundamatwe Primary School. It provides a second source of clean water for the highly populated region of the village. The above borehole and pump is located near the Ulonge Primary School. Villagers used to walk over a mile each way to get needed water. Planned Projects Summer/Fall 2009: Ulonge Classroom: $6,000 This will be the seventh classroom at the Ulonge Primary School. Constructing this classroom will allow students in the Ulonge community to remain in their home school for education rather than walking the four mile round trip to the Lundamatwe Primary School. Lundamatwe Classroom: $6,000 The current enrollment at the Lundamatwe Primary School is over a thousand students. This large number of students requires that some grades share a classroom (each receiving instruction for only half a day), while other classrooms have seventy or eighty students in them. The classroom that was built last fall has helped relieved some of the overcrowding and another one built this fall will go even further. Clean Water Projects: $2,500 The five boreholes that were built last year are currently providing clean water in three populated areas of the Lundamatwe Village. These boreholes are still the only sources of clean water in these communities. Project Kesho has identified five more potential sites that have a surrounding community that is without clean water. Besides installing more boreholes, Project Kesho will be working with community leaders to establish a village-wide Water User Association (WUA). The WUA will provide community members with a voice in how their water is managed and will work within the existing Tanzanian Government’s Rufiji River Basin Management Association. Clinic Support: $1,000 Project Kesho’s support of the village clinic will continue to be multi-faceted. One method of providing support will be continued provisions for medical supplies. The majority of the money spent last year was on medicine that was used to treat students at the schools who were suffering from various skin and eye infections that are prevalent in the village. This year Project Kesho will be expanding our health outreach to address the needs of those not attending the schools. Project Kesho will also continue advocating for the health needs of these communities through our contacts in the Kilolo District Government. Community Organization: $3,000 Project Kesho is currently working with residents of the Lundamatwe Village as they organize themselves around several projects. The residents of the village are organizing to address the needs of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in their village. OVC's facing many additional hardships, including limited educational success, and are vulnerable to becoming malnourished and sick. A network of residents will help to first identify the OVC's in their communities and then work to address their needs. Secondly, the residents are forming a Water User Association (WUA) to manage the water resource in their communities--this includes the newly dug boreholes. This WUA will work under a national Tanzanian Government framework for managing water. Stay tuned for a funding update and ways you can help!