An example of ‘bad’ development

When is a donated water tank more of a headache than a help?

When it’s delivered unannounced (until the day) without having been requested or the beneficiary consulted or any need for it assessed and when the responsibility of installing it (and the costs associated with that) are passed onto the beneficiaries whose limited funds and resources are already overstretched. That’s when.

That’s the situation that confronted Ngambenyi Primary School recently when a 5,000 litre capacity water storage tank was delivered out of the blue and without notice by another organisation. An organisation which should, frankly, know better.

There had been no prior consultation with the school and no assessment to whether it is actually needed. Thanks to our work over the last few years (installing 80,000 litres of rainwater storage capacity), it is not, not really.

The headteacher was told that parents/the school were responsible for paying for the installation costs (guttering and a concrete base) so that it is actually useable and that this work must be done within the week. Asking parents to come up with the money needed for this sort of thing, especially at a small school like this one and at such short notice, only adds unnecessary financial burdens they can ill afford. Frankly, it is irresponsible and misguided.

As so often appears to be the case, African Promise will help pick up the pieces. The school will use funds we have already donated for development of the kitchen garden to install this tank within that space to be used to store water for irrigation.

Finally, we take this opportunity to point out that we *never* do anything without first consulting our partner schools and more often than not we respond only by providing the support they are asking of us.