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We have secured water for our new school – we dug another huge reservoir
Monday, 28 April 2014 Written by fra Ivica Perić

We have secured water for our new school – we dug another huge reservoirWill there be enough water for our new technical secondary school in Kivumu? We can now say with certainty - yes!

In this poor country with a myriad of problems, the biggest challenge is the lack of basic infrastructure. Of course, our village of Kivumu with its more than thirty thousand inhabitants - located in the centre of the ‘heart of Africa’ (as Rwanda is often called) - is no exception. Village roads (dirt really) are badly maintained and electricity only just recently arrived in the village. But the lack of water is probably the biggest of all problems.

You see, although the village is only seven kilometers from the town of Gitarama, the pipeline still hasn’t reached Kivumu, so the villagers struggle daily to have enough water to meet their basic needs.

That is precisely why, a couple of years ago - when we embarked on the ambitious project to build a secondary technical school in the village - one of our priorities, aside from building classrooms and facilities, was to build the means to collect water for the school. And so in the first phase of construction, which is now completed along with eleven classrooms, we built two large water tanks – one below and one above ground.

However, as we began to construct the second phase of our technical secondary school - which includes an additional seven classrooms, computer room, library, reading room, teachers’ room and staff offices - we started to wonder if the existing water-tank capacity would be enough.

That is why we have started to construct another big underground water tank, which together with the other two tanks ought to ensure a sufficient supply of water for our students and school employees. This latest underground tank will be fifteen meters long, fourteen meters wide and three meters deep, with a total capacity of 600 cubic meters of water.

Obviously, a hole this big is not easy to dig - especially when there are no machines at hand, as is the case in Rwanda. But where there are no machines, there are hardworking hands. The students of the building section of our secondary vocational school came to the rescue. During the last few months, dozens of young men, together with their teachers Emmanuel and Theogene, spent their days digging the hole for the water tank. And not one of them objected to the work!

Tens of thousands of shovels of earth, liters of spilled sweat, all accompanied by song and laughter... These young men know that they are doing something important and that their labor will ensure that their colleagues, brothers and sisters will have water in the school. We combined pleasure with useful work. Our construction students got a rare chance to do their practical lessons in a truly large construction project, and we received the guarantee that the job will be done properly and on time.

Constructing an underground water tank of such capacity is expensive and challenging. So I use this opportunity to thank our numerous donors and generous people, who through their financial gifts have made it possible for us to work hard to complete this project in the very near future!

Now, we can say with certainty that the technical secondary school will have a continuous and safe water supply. Also, whenever one does such a job in Rwanda (and generally in Africa), it is not just a completed project. It is an example... an example of how, with a lot of hard labor, work and sacrifice, great things can be done! That’s why our new water tank isn’t and won’t be just a water tank. It is a road sign and a beacon for Kivumu and this entire region.

Translated by Branimir Mlakić
Edited by Valerie Kae Ken

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