We are very conscious of the fact that we have set up our project in an area with very scarce resources. During the dry season the land is parched, and what water is available needs to be used for families to grow the crops they need to survive.
There is also no electricity in the vicinity of the school, and within the country as a whole, electricity is a precious commodity which relies heavily on hydropower, again very stretched during the dry season.
As with most rural communities in Tanzania, families rely on wood for their main source of fuel which is contributing to significant deforestation. To this end, we do whatever we can to minimise our impact on our natural resources.
Each of our classrooms has been constructed with a large concrete gutter at the back in order to harvest rainwater from the roof, and thanks to donors, we have been able to purchase 5,000 litre tanks for storage so that this water can be used when piped water is unavailable.
At the front of each building we have gardens which are watered naturally by the rain or by recycling our waste water.
During construction of the Administration Building we installed a small solar power system. The power is sufficient to run our laptops, charge our phones, use a printer/scanner and to provide light when needed. This really did transform the operation of the school as it was the first time that we had any kind of electricity on site.
We also installed a much needed solar powered security light and a solar powered water pump so that even if we do eventually have mains electricity at the school we will be able to keep our bills and use of grid electricity to a minimum.
From the day the school opened all of the meals have been cooked on specially made wood saving stoves. Each one is heavily insulated with a top opening just large enough to house a large cooking pot.
The stoves are fed by wood, which is often sourced from the trees which we have had to chop down to make way for our classrooms, and because no heat escapes from the sides of the pot, very little wood is required to cook each meal.
The ash remains are then used in the composting toilets so nothing goes to waste.
We have two composting toilet blocks - one for Girls and one for Boys.
The toilets have been specially designed to be used without the need for any water, and instead they use soil and ash from the kitchen stoves which helps to break down the waste matter and reduce odours.
Ventilation pipes ensure that smells are kept to a minimum. In each block there are cubicles which are kept permanently closed so that they can be used on rotation when the pits are full.