We sorta had a plan before, but now it’s being finalized. Logan and I were on our way to lunch when we saw some Tanapa staff, the staff who had helped us on Sunday. So, we bypassed lunch and followed them. We told them the chairperson wasn’t being very helpful, and we were informed that we should be dealing with the executive officer.
A troop of children led us to the house of the executive officer, and then we began the march towards the Tanapa office. On the way, we picked up the school headmaster. The two Tanapa staff, executive officer, and headmaster chattered in Swahili for a while, stopping to explain to us every now and then what they were talking about. Angela and Sebastian (Tanapa staff) had an idea.
Apparently, the executive officer said that there was a need to drill in the Saadani National Park and then pump the water to the village. This would require surveys and a lot of money and more time than we have. So, the idea Angela and Sebastian proposed was to do a rainwater collection system off of the new primary school buildings (brand spanking new buildings). The headmaster would monitor the system and take small collections of money to sustain the system. Tanapa is currently using the same system, but privately. The water is not available for community use.
Everyone seemed to think that this idea would work, and would help solve the problem of having potable drinking water for the community. This news came after a very disappointing morning of us thinking that our project was going to fail and we were going to have to return all the money.
The community would continue to use the river water for washing clothes and cooking (because all the bacteria die when they get heated up), but the new water system would be used for drinking. They have agreed to file reports and keep us updated after we leave.
We’re finally making ins with the community, and it’s very satisfactory. I think people are starting to realize that we’re not just passing through.