Rainwater harvesting tanks & gardens for schools

Schools usually have ideal rooftops for rainwater harvesting and enough space for large water tanks too. In South Africa, the typical rural school comprises of long buildings with corrugated iron roofs – one of the best surfaces for collecting rainwater. As the article below states, education is the key to success and water conservation can be taught on a practical level with rainwater harvesting tanks.

rainwater harvest tanks

Pupils at their large rainwater harvesting tank

The value of education cannot be under-estimated; it is one of the most effective ways to break the poverty cycle on a broad basis. Providing needy schools with feeding schemes not only provides better nourishment to assist learners to attain their academic goals, but offers the school community an opportunity to make a small sustainable income.

ACT implemented two Rainwater Harvesting and Food Tunnels projects in northern KwaZulu-Natal, which support 25 schools and 16 pre-schools; benefiting around 20 000 pupils each year. The schools were provided with rain water tanks, drip irrigation systems, vegetable shade houses, seedlings and indigenous fruit trees.

Local community members were employed in tunnel construction teams, and agricultural students from Mangosuthu University of Technology, University of Zululand and the Owen Sithole College of Agriculture received one year in-service training, which assisted them to complete their studies and gain work experience. The agricultural students provided assistance to the local community members who were employed by the project.

ACT permaculture experts also saw the development of 21 gardens in rural schools in the Richmond region, part of the Zakhe Outreach Project. The project included the installation of water tanks, erection of fences and the planting of fruit trees and seedlings. Lush harvests have already been seen in a number of schools. There is a strong focus on Conservation Agriculture principles and 21 trainees received training at the Dovehouse Institute. A number of local job opportunities have also been provided.

Source: African Conservation Trust

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