Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is at the heart of the Rand Water Foundation’s strategy. Its goal is to maximise communities’ access to clean water and adequate sanitation, further promoting healthy and hygienic conditions within communities. This case study highlights the rollout of the Rural Sustainable Water Supply Project at Wit Mfolozi Combined Primary School in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal, and Emalahleni Local Municipality in Mpumalanga.
Rural sustainable water supply project
Wit Mfolozi Combined Primary School in Vryheid, eMadlangeni Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), poor sanitation, water scarcity, inferior water quality and inappropriate hygiene behaviour are disastrous for infants and young children, and are a major cause of mortality in children under five. Those conditions are also detrimental to the health of school-aged children, who spend long hours in schools. The physical environment and cleanliness of a school facility can significantly affect the health and wellbeing of children.
Rand Water Foundation is proud to have responded positively to a request from the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) in 2020 to assist the Wit Mfolozi Combined Primary School in the community of Vryheid, eMadlangeni Local Municipality, KwaZuluNatal, with water and sanitation infrastructure.
“Millions of children go to school every day in unsafe learning environments, with no drinking water, proper toilets, or soap for washing their hands. These conditions are disastrous and detrimental to the learning environment and can significantly affect the health and wellbeing of learners”, said Linda Mngomezulu, the chairperson of the Rand Water Foundation. “It is our hope that the abovementioned intervention will contribute towards the positive learning and development of the learners in the school. When children have access to safe water, toilets and soap for handwashing at school, they have a better environment to study, to learn and to realise their full potential, and girls are more likely to attend when they are menstruating.”
As a socioeconomic change agent, promoting Rand Water as a good corporate citizen, the Foundation continues to strategically utilise Rand Water’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) resources to advance the quality of life in communities and their surrounds, undertaking community development projects in partnership with various donors and relevant stakeholders.
“This infrastructure will improve the water and sanitation standards of the school, contributing to better hygiene for the pupils and educators.”
“Our decision to agree in establishing the water and sanitation infrastructure at the school was motivated by one of our core values of caring, and this request spoke to this value because it allows us to help in advancing the quality of life in communities by improving access to water and sanitation.”
The following infrastructure was provided:
- Borehole drilling, equipping and installation of purification unit, providing safe, clean drinking water
- Construction of two educators’ ablution facilities with washing basins, replacing the dilapidated and unsafe infrastructure
- Construction of two foundation-phase ablution facilities with washing basins, replacing the dilapidated and unsafe infrastructure
- Construction of four girls’ ablution facilities with washing basins, replacing the dilapidated and unsafe infrastructure
- Construction of two boys’ ablution facilities with urinals and washing basins, replacing the dilapidated and unsafe infrastructure
- Installation of a septic tank to receive wastewater from the school
Rural sustainable water supply project
Emalahleni Local Municipality
The Rand Water Foundation board handed over fully equipped and functional boreholes to the eMalahleni Local Municipality in Mpumalanga in 2021, benefiting vulnerable communities in the following regions:
- In Spring Valley, 24 250W solar panels were installed, and the existing solar panel stand raised to 4m to prevent easy access and theft. Cables, the control panel, and the entire water supply system including the damaged ClearVu fence were repaired.
- In Benicon an already drilled borehole was tested and equipped through supply installation of 310W panel solar pump, pipeline and installation of taps, installation of a 10 000-litre water storage facility, and installation of a steel pipeline for security purposes.
- In Masakhane (Joy Crèche area) existing borehole testing was conducted, a 310W panel solar pump was supplied and installed, along with a pipeline and taps, and a 10 000-litre water storage facility was installed. A steel pipeline was also installed, for security purposes.
In eMalayinini a new borehole was drilled, tested and equipped. The borehole is solar-powered by a 310W solar panel that is supported by a 4m stand. The borehole currently provides 2 500 litres per hour through a newly constructed water storage facility with a capacity of 10 000 litres.
The Elbion community currently enjoys clean water from a newly drilled borehole powered by four 250W solar panels, supported by a 4m stand. The borehole was tested and further equipped through the supply and installation of a water storage facility, and secured by palisade fencing. A total number of 50 temporary jobs were created for local community members through this project.
This article was originally published in the Trialogue Business and Society Handbook 2022 – 25th Edition.