Kiwi helps Ugandans make water tanks
Sun, 14 Oct 2012 6:32p.m.
By Samantha Hayes
Collecting rain water in drought-prone regions might seem like a straightforward idea. But in Uganda it's almost never done because roofs are either thatched or don't have gutters. Now a Waiheke father and daughter have used their skills to change all that.
Brett McDonald is an artisan. He hand makes concrete water tanks for the steep hills of Waiheke Island. He now does the same in Uganda after he was roped in by his daughter to help with an aid project called the Village Project.
“Emily was up there building houses for three or four years and saw that there were no gutters on the roofs and saw that water was a bit of a problem and said, ‘my dad could come up and build some water tanks’,” says Mr McDonald.
"I was like, ‘why are they not collecting the water?’” says Emily Parsons. “For me it's so natural being brought up on Waiheke. That's what we do.”
Uganda is one of the world's poorest nations. One-third of the population lives on less than $1.50 a day. Most buildings have thatched roofs and no guttering, and for three months every year drought strikes, wells run dry, and people walk kilometres to collect water in jerry cans.
But when it does rain, it pours.
Ms Parsons, with the help of her father, set about building a rain harvesting system for the Watoto Orphanages.
Of course making a water tank in Uganda was never going to be as straightforward as it is in Waiheke. Sourcing the right materials was challenging, so the team had to manually sift through 24 tonnes of river sand before they could mix it into concrete.
“It's river sand but it comes out with mud and clay from the river and things so we sifted it all and made it nice for the plaster – all by hand,” says Ms Parsons.
The team took 10 days to build four water tanks from scratch – in a pit so the water will keep cool.
As they worked, they trained 10 Ugandans, who can now make the tanks themselves using Mr McDonald's method.
The four tanks will supply 100,000 litres of water. Ms Parsons’ charity has plans to build as many as 2000 more.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
28/03/2013 7:36:05 p.m.
water tank sydney wrote:
Well it is good project to make a water tank.Water tank proved very helpful now a days.With the help of water tank we can save too much water and use this water in our routine life works.To get more information about water tank visit
1/03/2013 9:53:16 p.m.
Chris Ddamulira wrote:
Hello All.Thanks for the wounderful work you are doing. However i would like to know how i can get in touch with you so that i can get more details about this project as a person in charge of water , sanitation and hygiene at GIRLS EDUCATION MOVEMENT UGANDA CHAPTER.Thanks
21/10/2012 3:39:45 a.m.
Willard Mubvumbi wrote:
Since white farmers were driven from our farms we black farmers had no one to teach us on how to harvest rain water. Macdonald should come here and impart his knowledge.
21/10/2012 3:33:02 a.m.
Mr Macdonald, go to Zimbabwe and teach black farmers how to harvest water.
17/10/2012 2:05:08 p.m.
Pam Millward wrote:
what a wonderful story - well done!
17/10/2012 2:03:05 p.m.
What wonderful people. Can we have them in charge of running our country?
16/10/2012 10:04:01 a.m.
Wonderful effort, so good to hear of really practical and life changing work being done.
14/10/2012 7:48:42 p.m.
peter van den bosch wrote:
Emily and Brett,
I am so proud of you guys.
What a great way to spread the word
A band of thunderstorms is battering the Oklahoma City area and slowing cleanup ...
An Interstate 5 bridge over a river collapsed Thursday evening, dumping two vehi...
A team of heroic Oklahoma hospital staff stayed with a woman in labour, despite ...
The International Monetary Fund has called on Britain to do more to support the ...
3 News Australia correspondent Rachel Morton takes a look at the latest news fro...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.