Blog Tanzania

The Pay Off of Hard Work


sanitation3 Mama Chuwa of Bajeviro cuts the red ribbon to open the new sanitation block at the Primary School

This year help2kids undertook its largest construction project at the Bajeviro Primary School. In over four years of the on-going partnership between the school and help2kids, the Sanitation Block, which will provide Bajeviro with twelve new student toilets, two showers, three running basins, and two staff toilets, was an immense undertaking for staff, students, and donors alike. Several setbacks, including permit politics, a heatwave, and heavy rains caused many to wonder when the project would finally see completion. Luckily help2kids had a patient staff, a hard-working contractor, and an excellent construction team to put up the boards from start to finish.

Week1-010 The previous, dilapidated toilets at Bajeviro

The Bajeviro Primary School, previously called the Wamoto Primary School, has been operating for the last twenty years within the Mbezi Beach area. Despite the long running function of the school, it was in dire need of renovations when help2kids stepped in. A large challenge was the availability of running and functioning toilets for both students and staff. Previously, the school only had five toilets, which were on the verge of dilapidation. The toilets were not nearly enough to accommodate the 300 total students that attended classes at Bajeviro, causing consistent and necessary septic tank removals monthly. When the Tanzanian rainy season hit and floods frequented the area, the toilets were unusable as sewage systems filled up with rain water. The result was a constant sore in Bajeviro’s overall healthy learning environment, disrupting the students’ ability to learn and the staff’s need to teach.

Having access to proper sanitation facilities, including running water and drainage systems, can have serious effects on student attendance, especially female students who are already underrepresented within the Tanzanian education system. Female students are more susceptible to water related bacterial infections, such as UTI’s, and struggle with monthly menstrual cycles if private and sanitary areas are not available. It was clear that a proper hygienic bathroom on Bajeviro’s school grounds was imperative for the growth of the project and overall student achievement.

Week1-07 The beginnings of Bajeviro’s largest construction

In July 2015 help2kids began sketching out the much needed plans of a new and improved sanitation block at Bajeviro. Former Field Manager, Mari Yogi, Primary School Manager, Martin Kuery, and local architect Jumanne Mbaruck, began developing an outline of what the new bathroom unit should look like and how many facilities were needed for the growing number of students. The entire project was anticipated to take three to four months to complete and was set to begin in the fall of 2015.

Despite the efforts of the help2kids team, several roadblocks were hit forcing construction to be initially delayed. Red tape restrictions and documentation required for Bajeviro’s building permit through the Tanzanian government was a long and thorough process that left some staff members drained. However, after several months of stamps, seals, and signings, Bajeviro was granted the proper documentation to continue its sanitation efforts.

Unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas.

Within the first week of construction Dar es Salaam saw a weekend of pouring rains and thunderstorms. The rain water filled up the construction site, altering several areas and forcing further delays as the construction team attempted to dry the area with water pumps. Mr. Shayo, help2kids’ contractor, and his team worked diligently re-preparing the project they had only just begun. Almost as soon as the rainfall had dried up, a heatwave forced our construction crew to decrease their productivity and spend time switching in and out of the shade and heat, once again delaying construction.

Most local construction within Tanzania is done without machinery, using manual labor and simple tools to create large buildings and houses. Our Sanitation Block was done no differently, as Mr. Shayo and his large team of workers did their best to work around the unruly weather that plagued Dar es Salaam during the time of construction. 

Construction crew works with their hands to accomplish the difficult job Construction crew works with their hands to accomplish the difficult job

Finally after twelve weeks of construction efforts, the Sanitation Block was completed. On April 4th Mama Chuwa was given the honors of cutting the red ribbon in front of staff and students, officially opening the sanitation block. The opening ceremony proved to be a huge sigh of relief for those involved in the tedious project, as well as a proud moment for donors and the Primary School Staff, who have constantly worked hard to provide their students with the best possible learning environment.

Students excitedly await the opening Students excitedly await the opening
A job well done, with smiles all around A job well done, with smiles all around
The new and improved The new and improved

Even though Bajeviro’s biggest construction is over, it is not fully finished with outward improvements. Shortly after finishing the sanitation project construction workers started with the building of a new kitchen, aiding in Bajeviro’s efforts to serve their students two healthy meals per day through the help2kids food program. Construction process is anticipated to go very quickly and unlike the sanitation block, there has been little to suggest otherwise.

The final product The final product


The output of months of hard work The output of months of hard work

help2kids and the staff at the Bajeviro Primary School would like to thank all those involved, from construction workers to the generous donors, who invested in the Primary School and made a huge difference in the lives of many students.

The Health Project team and Bajeviro Staff The Health Project team and Bajeviro Staff