Salisa Bana School

The members of the surrounding communities next to Salisa Bana School find themselves withdrawn from the city even to get essential items. Access to water for most people is several kilometers away in small rivers and streams that are often highly polluted. As there are about 4,500 people living in the extended area this source can become very strained.

Salisa Bana is a very well organized school and an essential source of education serving about 200 children from 5 to 13 years old. These children walk from the surrounding villages to attend courses up through the 8th grade. The school is located about 7 or 8 km from the main road (there is no easy access to it). The road to the school is difficult and accessible only by a 4×4 vehicle and includes the crossing of two streams. The school has six classes meeting in two new clean buildings. Most of the classes take place in the morning. Only a few children that live nearby are able to attend classes in the afternoon. Several children and a teacher live 7 km away (a daily total of 14 km). Because of the long distances the children need to travel, the school feeds them a meal after each school day. While the school does have a vegetable garden, lunch typically consists simply of rice and with the water scarcity, many students have to do without.

This lack of water presents a major challenge to operating a well-functioning school. The staff have to walk about 2 km to a little stream to retrieve water for all of the school’s needs. Because of water constraints their toilets are holes in the ground. Fundraising is currently underway to install a well. However, the school still requires about $7000 a month to operate, which includes feeding the students a meal per day.

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