EAST LIVERPOOL-A project of the East Liverpool, Calcutta and Salem Rotary clubs will bring better sanitation and safe drinking water to school children in Tanzania.
The clubs recently learned that the project, started in 2011, was completed in June, resulting in 12 new latrines for a school of 581 students. Two latrines also were built for the teachers of the Ibihwa village primary school in central Tanzania.
Prior to the completion of the project, the students had only two pit latrines that polluted the surrounding water supplies and facilitated the spread of sometimes-fatal infectious diseases, said East Liverpool Rotarian Charles Lang, chairman of the project.
Tanzania officials view one of 12 latrines built for the Ibihwa village primary school with funding from the East Liverpool, Calcutta and Salem Rotary clubs. The humanitarian project was the first one of its kind undertaken by the three clubs, which raised $5,300 in 2012. (Submitted photo)
Lang said this is the first time the three area Rotary clubs have collaborated on an international humanitarian project.
"This project was so neat because we had matching money, so it was something that we could handle," Lang said.
The clubs raised $5,300 toward the $27,000 total needed to build the latrines. Further funding came from Africare, H2O for Life and the Procter & Gamble Co.
Spearheading the project was the Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (WASRAG), a charitable initiative of Rotarians who are interested in improving water and sanitation conditions around the world. The Ibihwa school was one of 15 schools identified as part of WASRAG's Adopt-a School Program in Tanzania.
"WASRAG had people on the ground there in Africa and could make the project happen," Lang said.
The East Liverpool Rotary Club raised the funds for its share of the project by offering its services to residents during the CitySweep 2012 cleanup program of Heritage Thermal Services (formerly WTI). For a donation, Rotarians picked up scrap metal from residents who were unable to transport their own trash and delivered it to the East End plant, Lang said.
"Through the generosity of residents in the area and the labor of Rotarians, the club successfully raised in excess of the $1,800 goal needed to fund the African project," Lang said.
The Calcutta and Salem Rotary clubs each donated a similar amount of money, he said.
Although the project was fully funded in 2012, because of the inaccessibility of the village and the lack of support from local leadership, the project was not completed until earlier this year, Lang said.
In addition to the latrines, the project distributed 68,455 water purification packets to the children to enable them to purify drinking water in their homes. Formerly known as PUR water sachets, the P&G Purifier of Water packets treat 2.5 gallons of drinking water each.
The project also installed a rain water harvesting tank that students can use for hand washing purposes.
The three clubs were awarded the William H. Elliot Award for the most outstanding international project of 2012 at the District 6650 Rotary Conference in Canton.