Merton Williams students raise money for Ugandan Water Project

By on December 24, 2018

Merton Williams Middle School is helping a school in Uganda in a very important way. Together, students raised $3779.71 through donations from family and friends that will be used to purchase a rainwater collection system.

The rainwater collection system is comprised of a 10,000 liter (2,600 gallon) polyethylene tank placed on cement base with a gutter system that is attached to an existing metal roof. These systems will last around 30 years, providing clean water for thousands over their lifespan. With an average of 80 inches of rainfall a year, Uganda is an ideal location for rainwater harvesting as a primary source of clean water. The Ugandan Water Project, located in Lima, New York, works with the Ugandan office to determine site locations that have been approved based on priority scaling, targeting locations with the highest degree of need. It typically takes about 30 to 60 days from the time they receive the funding to have the system completely installed.

Last year, students sold water bottles to raise funds used to purchase water filters for those affected by the hurricane in Puerto Rico. This year, students explained their cause and volunteered their time in exchange for donations from family and friends. Jacob Runyan, who raised $190, said that while traveling with his family, he’s seen places where people don’t have access to clean water and wanted to help.

Jacob, and Sarah Williams, both eighth graders, were top fundraisers, along with Jamie Melos’ class, which raised over $700. “We can just go to the sink to get clean water,” said Sarah, who, along with Jacob, presented at the December 11 Board of Education meeting. “In Uganda, people have to walk two miles for water.”

Earlier in the school year, Merton Williams Middle School students learned that children in Uganda fetch water from a well 2 kilometers away to be used for drinking, cooking and cleaning. This task took over an hour, often causing students to be late to school; even then, they would get sick from the contaminated water. The rainwater collection system allows the children to get clean water at school and spend their day learning rather than hauling and boiling water.

The fundraiser is a component of this year’s Service Learning Project, which students complete in grades seven and eight as part of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme.

Provided information and photo

Tracie Czebatol, Merton Williams Middle School principal, and eighth graders Sarah Williams and Jacob Runyan presented information about the Ugandan Water Project at the December 11 Hilton Board of Education meeting. Jacob is holding a hand-painted machete sent to him after he raised $190 for a rainwater collection system.

Tracie Czebatol, Merton Williams Middle School principal, and eighth graders Sarah Williams and Jacob Runyan presented information about the Ugandan Water Project at the December 11 Hilton Board of Education meeting. Jacob is holding a hand-painted machete sent to him after he raised $190 for a rainwater collection system.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login