Pond Professionals Build Rain Water Harvesting System To Help Bring Water to Africa
Before I describe this journey, I wish to wholeheartedly thank all of our friends who contributed financially, or with blood, sweat, and tears to the completion of this amazing project! It would never be possible to complete such a task without each and every one of you ;)
In early January, 2017 I was lucky enough to join an awesome team and travel back to Africa to install a RainWater Harvest System. This was my second visit to Uganda, and my third time to Africa, and once again we had big plans for this 10 day trip.
The trip was planned and coordinated by The Aquascape Foundation and The International Needs Network, two groups dedicated to bringing aid to those in need. The IN Network (INN) has set up various facilities in Africa, as well as many other countries to work their magic. For over 20 years they have been building and operating schools, placing orphans and abandoned children in loving homes, teaching under-privileged people trades, helping prevent the spread of HIV, and doing so while teaching about God's love!
The INN board has an annual meeting to discuss needs in Uganda and one of the issues that they address is to identify the locations where the greatest need for water exists. Places where the water is terribly polluted or simply unavailable. This is where Carla Wittstock from the Aquascape Foundation and the idea of a Rainwater Harvest System came in.
Working hand-in-hand with the INN, The Aquascape Foundation planned for a solution based on the needs set before them. This year it was a school with 500 students. With a high rate of water-borne diseases, I was told by Paul, the head teacher at the Buikwe school, that an average of 10 children per week were removed from school during the year to be treated for typhoid and similar sicknesses. The school had only a few water tanks to catch rain but they was only enough to last for a couple weeks when the rainy seasons end. At that point, the students and faculty were forced to collect water from other sources that were contaminated and unsafe to drink. We knew a RainWater Harvest would be of great benefit to this school and community.
The calculations for the RainWater Harvest System were based on needs of students and their two daily meals. These numbers called for a 20,000 gallon under-ground rain-water collection and storage system that would be cleaned by pre-filters, particulate filters, and UV sterilization. The system was designed to be fed by gravity and then the pumping and sanitation station was operated by solar power. Sanitized water was then fed into a 150 gallon tank where it could be accessed by a normal spigot.
I was part of a team of 20 volunteers (friends) who worked with some local men to complete the RainWater Harvest System in three days! Most of my time was spent on "Team Solar" installing the indoor filtration and the panel on the roof of the school house. We trained the staff on operation and maintenance of the system after the local police department sent out two truck-loads of water and that was that! I sit in the Amsterdam Airport on my 4 hour lay-over typing this and reflecting back at what a winning team we had and how grateful I was to be a part. We are so blessed to live in he USA and we take so much for granted.
I would like to close by saying that each of the schools we have installed these systems at identify children who are in the greatest need. Orphans of HIV, abandoned children, or children who simply come from poverty.
We have been sponsoring a child in Ghana for several years now. I met Silase when we were doing the Ghana project and he is 15 years old now. For about $40.00 a month this young man get two square meals, an education, and hope for the future. I have met many of the members of the INNetwork and have seen what they do. If you are able and have it in your heart I challenge you to make a difference as well, the world needs more givers! To learn more about how you can help, call John Adams at Modern Design Aquascaping 865.995.1234
John Adams is a professional pond artist and builder.