Project WET activities inspire rural boarding school students in Uganda to begin harvesting rain water

St. Kaggwa success report for USAIDBefore the introduction of Project WET water, health and sanitation materials to St. Kaggwa Primary School, a rural boarding school in Mbarara, Uganda, the school transported water from 10-15 kilometers away for its 1,000 students, costing the school time and money.

However, empowered by Project WET’s educational materials, students of St. Kaggwa Primary School now have direct access to water because of newly-installed water harvesting systems.  Upon receiving Project WET’s materials on water, health and sanitation, which include illustrations of rain water harvesting from roof tops, students carried the booklets home to share with their families. Upon seeing the colorful illustrations in the materials, parents raised funds to purchase and install rain water harvesting systems for the school.  Enough money was raised to install three rain water harvesting systems on the girls’ and boys’ dormitories and kitchen. Students now have access to water for hand washing, cooking and drinking without extra expense.    

In addition to increased access to water, students are becoming more aware of their water’s source.  St. Kaggwa Primary Teacher Didus Gumisiriza noted, “With the use of the Guide and activities, children are becoming aware of water in their environment.” The incorporation of Project WET materials into St. Kaggwa’s curriculum also helped the school to win an award from the Ministry of Education and Sports for Best Environmental Education Program in Mbarara District.  With the school’s innovative implementation strategy, the Healthy Water, Healthy Habits, Healthy People materials will continue to be effective for many years, improving the health of the school and surrounding community.

Through USAID’s Africa Education Initiative, Project WET hosted a curriculum development workshop in Uganda in early 2008. This workshop convened 64 teachers and curriculum experts from eastern Africa in an effort to devise a comprehensive program for teaching children about water, health and sanitation.  An educators guide, two children’s activity books and a poster about the water cycle resulted from the workshop. More than 830,000 copies in French and English have been printed and distributed to 1,000 schools in 13 sub-Saharan countries.

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