A Story from Hoima

Thanks very much to Lori Cleveland for sending us this summary of a recently completed project in Hoima, along with some great pictures!  Lori is a US Peace Corps Volunteer working at the Hoima School of Nursing and Midwifery, and the project she describes was funded through a Peace Corps Grant that she applied for and received.  Here is Lori's summary: “Hoima School of Nursing and Midwifery was established in 2010 as an initiative of the Hoima Local Government to address the shortage of nurses in the Bunyoro region. In the last three years, it has grown from accommodating 60 students to 481 along with over 50 staff members. It is a public boarding school under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Heath/Education which runs five different levels (or sets) at one time. The nursing program is 2.5 years long with a new class starting every 6 months. During each school ceremony in the last three years, the Principal has requested expanding the accommodation for students, a school bus, and an increase in water reserves. At last one of these goals has been met and the school now celebrates the construction of two 30,000 liter water tanks; one for rainwater harvesting and the other as a reserve tank. ‘To me it is a big relief to staff and students. We don’t have to buy water. It is a big privilege to the institution,’ comments the Deputy Principal.

“The school collaborated with Brick by Brick Construction to build the tanks using an environmentally friendly process to create ‘Interlocking Stabilized Soil Bricks’. Working with local materials and resources the tanks were completed in approximately 5 weeks. One employee cites this project as a learning experience and plans to purchase a brick press for himself.

“The most significant benefit, of course, is to the students. Students who are unable to do laundry, clean their rooms, or bathe because there is no water. Students who are forced to wait for meals which are delayed or not coming because the ‘water is finished.’ Students who are sick and have poor infection control practices due to lack of water. These students are excited, saying, ‘It is one of the best achievements! Cleanliness and hygiene it is most vital... It has put the school a step ahead as in development... We won’t spend the nights without showering, won’t miss meals, won’t have to move long distances for water.’ The school recognizes a sustainable achievement in its perseverance towards success.”

And here are a few of the great pictures that Lori took during the project:

Starting the tank walls

Sunday, preparing to install the tank's roof

Members of the school community with one of their new tanks