Solar Disinfection of Water, or SODIS, is a simple solution to a widespread problem: unclean drinking water. Developed by a Swiss research group in 1991, the SODIS method is as follows: put a bottle of water outside on a piece of black painted metal, and after six hours in direct sun, the UV rays and heat kill all the harmful bacteria, making it safe to drink.
Using hundreds of plastic bottles collected at Neema Crafts, FORS introduced SODIS to all Pawaga schools at our participatory methods workshops last October. Many teachers didn’t know about SODIS, and they were grateful to FORS for sharing this information and demonstrating this useful technology.
Judith, a teacher at Kimande Primary School, told us that Kimande teachers and parents had just concluded that it would be impossible to boil water for their 500 students. SODIS is an excellent solution for FORS schools because in addition to the need for clean drinking water in Idodi and Pawaga, the climate is perfectly suited for SODIS use, and all schools have corrugated metal roofs where students and teachers can put their bottles.
At the end of each workshop, one teacher from every school was given 30 bottles in order to start using SODIS at the school. During our follow-up visits of the Wildlife module in Pawaga, we found that three schools had already painted their roofs black and started using SODIS – only a month after the workshop! We encourage other NGOs on Wildlife Direct to start using this free, easy but effective technology to improve people’s lives.
Hi everybody! Sorry we haven’t written for a while, it’s been a busy time here with field work and fundraising trips to Dar es Salaam. But now that we are back in Iringa, we would like to share with you some positive feedback from our first field activity this year!
FORS begins every calendar year with a meeting for the Head Teachers from all of our 24 schools. This January, we held two meetings, one for Idodi division and one for Pawaga division. We were very pleased that in addition to a 95% Head Teacher turnout, the Environmental Teachers from every school also joined us, making the meetings very productive for all.
The aim of these meetings is to continue to build the relationships with the Head Teachers and to analyze the challenges and successes of the previous year. This year, with a more interactive agenda than we’ve used before, teachers shared their ideas about how the FORS EE program is running in their particular school, and we identified some common strategies and priorities to make 2009 even more successful for teachers and students.
All the teachers showed real engagement and knowledge about local environmental issues; for example, the Pawaga teachers said they benefited greatly from our participatory workshops in October and November, in which they learned about and began to use SODIS water disinfection at home and in their schools. Activities and tangible projects like this – that distinguish their school from non-FORS schools – are something that all teachers from Idodi and Pawaga are enthusiastic to develop this year.
Jackson Ngowi, FORS Program Manager
Practicing different grafting techniques
Hello! My name is Jackson Ngowi and I work as FORS program manager. From 1st September to 25th October 2008 I had the opportunity to attend an environmental education course in South Africa. The course was highly participatory with participants from all over Southern Africa
It was very inspiring to visit different primary schools, secondary schools, municipalities, a community training centre and an organic farmers’ association. At all of these sites people are doing important activities that really have a positive impact on the environment.
When I came back to Iringa, it was great to start implementing some of the participatory methodologies that we had discussed in the course. Last month FORS organized a one day grafting workshop as a reward for three Idodi primary schools that had done an excellent job in creating and maintaining tree nurseries. The teachers appreciated the opportunity to learn about grafting and were eager to start practicing their new skill both in the schools and at home.
Mr. Elia, Head Teacher of Tungamalenga Primary School, said:
“We would like to thank FORS for organizing this workshop, for sure this training came right on time; this knowledge can help improve our lives in different ways. We have learned a lot today and we are hereby promising you that next year we will raise even more tree seedlings and we would like to transfer the knowledge of grafting to our students.”