Make a Ripple, Make a Difference. Bank On Rain focuses water projects on schools, and that causes a ripple effect whereas knowledge is shared across many villages. Faculty and students are all involved in the learning process: safe sanitation, then installation, then maintenance; then share this know-how with their villages. These small clean water projects have a tremendous impact: an improved quality of life for many.
Left: This project at The Barina Agricultural School in Makali, Sierra Leone was a great success. Under the guidance of Bank On Rain, the teachers and locals constructed a beautiful system with a gutter and tanks purchased locally in Freetown with funds supplied by our donors. This system now provides water for both drinking and hand washing for¬†300 students. With improved hygiene there has been a noticeable reduction of illness in the students at the school.
Sharing the knowledge and working together on the implementation of a Rainwater Harvesting system leaves the teachers, students and locals with something far more important than just a source of water: the knowledge to replicate this system and the know-how of to fix if it breaks.
Left: As part of the teaching process small systems were ¬†installed near both the student and teacher latrines for hand washing, more like the systems that can be replicated outside the school for a single families. Split bamboo was used from the nearby river for gutters and the blue containers were bought on the streets of Freetown and converted into rainwater storage tanks.
Bank On Rain will be following up during summer 2013 with the students and teachers who returned to their homes and made attempts to replicate a system like this.
The biggest barrier to success is rainwater storage, so Bank On Rain is now teaching teachers and students how to create curved bricks for constructing a rainwater tank using ¬†an Interlocking Stabilized Soil Block (ISSB) machine that is manually operated. With this, we anticipate our success rate will grow rapidly and home Rainwater Harvesting installations will appear, even in remote locations.
Another weak link in water projects (not only systems which focus on rain harvesting) is faucets which break, get stolen or are contaminated by touch. We are addressing this with the Bank On Rain trademarked design Fullstop¬†Faucet.
Some of the students who were not involved in the construction process of the rain water harvesting system created artwork to remind all students to wash their hands. They loved placing these drawings on the walls around the school helped out by Bank On Rain summer intern, Emily Berg.
At the Barina Agricultural school we discovered that students learn the most when they do the teaching. We can be sure that some of these drawings ended up on the walls in their homes.
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