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Remarks by Ambassador Lisa Peterson: Commissioning of Borehole Project – Malangeni Alliance Primary School
March 5, 2020

  1. The Regional Education Officer
  2. Inspectors present
  3. The School’s Manager
  4. The School’s Management Board
  5. The Chief’s representative
  6. Community leaders
  7. The Honorable Member of Parliament
  8. The School Committee
  9. The Headteacher, teachers
  10. Students

 Sanibonani bekunene (Greetings)

 It is an honor to join you today in the commissioning of Malangeni Alliance Primary School’s electric borehole pump project. Through the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Fund, the U.S. government has supported many community projects like this over the years, and the goal is always the same: invest in communities, so they may invest in themselves.   We are proud to have provided this grant of 96,000 Emalangeni so that this school may now have access to clean water, which will help improve overall health and sanitation for students, teachers and support staff.  Clean water is always important, but it is especially so during this era of the coronavirus, because regularly washing our hands is among the most important actions we can take to prevent us from falling ill.

As you know, before the installation of the electric borehole pump, the school used an old hand pump, which did not work well enough to supply the water needs of the school. Students working with the school’s garden had to queue for long hours after school to get enough water for their plants and to replenish the school’s water tanks.  Such long waits for water resulted in students reaching home very late.  Besides exposing the students to potential harm, these late arrivals at home also cut into the students’ time for rest and study.  But now with the presence of the electric borehole pump, the 371 students of Malangeni Alliance Primary School can enjoy an improved quality of life that allows them to not only pursue their agricultural interest, but also better use their out of school hours for reading or recharging.  Easy access to water has now stimulated more students’ interest in agriculture, since watering the gardens has become a more straightforward and less time intensive task. Finally, this project will play a major role in attracting and retaining high quality teachers, which is bound to result in improved academic performance of the students.

One of the strengths of the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program is that the community receiving the award must agree to take ownership and contribute resources toward the funded project.  We recognize and appreciate the contribution of Malangeni Alliance Primary School, which provided a cement tank stand, 3 JoJo tanks, and labor to build the borehole system.  I applaud your commitment to this project and your partnership in helping to bring it to fruition.

Sengigcina, (as I end) I would like to appeal to this school, the community and its leaders to work together to preserve this scarce yet vitally important resource for our survival.  Water cannot be taken for granted, even in times of good rain, so communities must be diligent about maintaining water pumps, fixing leaks, and correcting behaviors that result in water waste.  On the foundation of your continued commitment to education and smart water conservation, I have no doubt that you will continue to build a bright future for tomorrow’s generation.

Ngiyabonga Kakhulu (Thank you very much).