Ludlow Rotary completes school project in Tanzania

Members of a Ludlow group have celebrated the successful completion of a £40,000 school project at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.

Morning assembly in new classroom
Morning assembly in new classroom

Ludlow Rotary Club members marked the completion of the project in Tanzania which the club has been spearheading over the past five years.

Club members themselves contributed £7,300 towards the project with the balance of the cost was met by various Rotary grants which the club was able to secure, the main one being from Rotary International – Rotary’s overriding body.

Having adopted Msasani School some years previously, the club had been able to offer some support in the past.

A spokesman for the club said: "Members were increasingly concerned about the lack of teaching space and minimal toilets, with just one water tap serving over 200 children plus teachers.

"Seizing the opportunity to make a real difference, the club secured a major grant from Rotary International and topped it up from its own funds with the aim of financing and overseeing a development project with two main elements."

The first issue was the construction of a new classroom block, with disabled access, and including rainwater harvesting and mains water storage.

New classroom block

The classroom will provide the school with much needed space for exams, school assemblies and a dining area for pupils to eat lunch in when it is raining.

As the only school room with electricity, it will also be used for IT lessons. Out of school hours it will be available for community use, with the income going towards the cost of maintenance.

Secondly, replacing the existing facility of two dry closets by a new toilet block with separate toilets for girls and boys, staff and disabled, each with their own washing facilities. Water is supplied from the storage tanks on the schoolroom.

Adjacent is a partition wall screening the building from the kitchen with a further sink for children to wash their hands and bowls.

New toilet block

Work on the project stared some five years ago but was severely delayed by the pandemic. However, just before Christmas, the new facilities were formally handed over to the school at an event attended by Ludlow Rotarian, Alistair Thornley.

Speaking at a Ludlow Rotary Club meeting on his return, Alistair said “It has been a hard slog ensuring from a distance of several thousand miles that the facilities met the needs of a very different cultural environment.

“However, with the technical support given by members of both this club and also the local Rotary Club of Marangu in Tanzania, we have delivered two fine buildings which the school were delighted to receive. They are already being put to good use.”

“Yet the real success of the project has been in enhancing the educational opportunities for children in this area of the world suffering from extreme poverty. For that, in particular, the club can be justly proud.”

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