Sustainability Initiatives: water conservation, irrigation, solar energy
Water shortages are a big problem in northern Ethiopia, and have become worse as the city of Mekele expands with no change in infrastructure. We decided to play our part by installing dry latrines with composting of the waste. They feature a black metal sheet at the rear of the structure which warms the air, causing air flow over the waste and so the toilets do not smell at all. All the toilets in the secondary school, for students and staff, are constructed in this way. We can provide more information and details, please email us.
Dry latrines - Secondary School
In 2008 we built our first rainwater collection tank in the Kindergarten. It has a 50,000 litre capacity. In 2011 we added a 100,000 litre tank, underground, in the primary school. In 2019, the Relief Society of Tigrai (REST) drilled a borehole on the secondary school site for us. Now we can irrigate the whole of the 4 hectare site and grow vegetables and fruit throughout the year. We can train our students and their families in these skills and improve their diet and education of nutrition. Work is ongoing on the extension of the water supply throughout the site and the provision of improved irrigation.
Water collection and distribution
We are improving our irrigation throughout the school so that we can grow plants throughout the year and not just during the 2-month rainy season every summer. This is encouraging everyone and beautiful quality vegetables and salad crops are being grown already.
We will also bring on sapling trees, provided by the Tigrai Plant Tissue laboratory and train our young people in the cultivation and management of them. A great opportunity for the future for their employment and own businesses. It will provide our students with the essential skills for future in the agricultural sector.
Agriculture - vegetables and tree planting
We have installed one solar panel, so far. It powers a DC pump which pumps water from a well to a tank in the secondary school. This water has been used for irrigation up to now, and also has been cleaned and used for hand-washing and showers.
In the future we would like to back-up and replace the unreliable mains electricity for the school site so that we can run classes uninterrupted. This will improve the efficient running of our IT and science labs. We are actively seeking collaboration partners for technical, equipment sourcing and financial support.
Solar Power - the future?