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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Water Projects

We asked to see schools this trip that needed pure drinking water. Our first school was Dali Primary School where one of my favorite teachers from summer camp teaches. Harry, as we named him, brought his little daughter with him everyday to summer English camp and wanted to learn English so much. She was quiet as a mouse.

His school only has water for a few hours a day before the hand dug wells go dry. I say wells because there are two of them. The bucket is for when the electric pump doesn't work.

The water is pumped to a holding tank until faucets are turned on. The bright red characters warn not to drink the water. I fear they drink it anyway. We have some proposals under consideration that will allow schools to have filtered and boiled water from deep drilled wells. Perhaps you would like to drill a well for a school. Just think of the difference that would make in the children's health and the outlook of the whole school.

The first school we hope to help has a well that is contaminated by an uphill school toilet and the cultivation of nearby fields with pesticides and other chemicals. We hope to raise money for this project to begin this spring.

You might be interested to see how they flush the rural toilets with a water drip system that fills a bucket that finally tips to pour through the concrete out house. Eastern squat toilets are strange to us, but they are much more sanitary than sitting.

Boiled water is precious. At Puyi Primary School each child had their own cup stored on the wall with the boiled water container nearby. Bottled water is expensive, but they always offer it to us when we visit the schools, especially in the summer.