by Pier Sadiki and Eljjar

MPHENI - The Deputy Director General of Education in the NorthernProvince,Mr Mpfareli Mukhavhuli said the economy country is very weak and businesses cannot afford it to pay the salaries of its workers anymore.

The official handing over of the school water project, which was funded by the Australian Government and implemented by Parkin Air Drills. Mr David Connolly, the Australian High Commissioner is cutting the ribbon. On the left is Mr Philmon Mdaka, mayor of Vuwani, Hlanganani and at the right is Mre Fashudu Munungufhala, principal of Muthuhadini Primary. The Australian High Commissioner, Mr David Connolly, phoses with a sculpture of a snake, he received as gift from the principal and the teachers of Muthuhadini Primary School. His government sponsored a water project at the school.

Mr Mukhavhuli was the guest speaker during the handing over of a water project to Muthuhadini school last Saturday. According to him, the water project will be a huge asset in the area and will play a major role in the development of the area.

He emphasised the under-development of the rural areas and said he is going to negotiate with the different departments to assist schools like Sinugane to obtain chairs and tables.

The water project was sponsored by the Australian Government. According to the Australian High Commissioner, Mr David Connolly, the main aim of the project is to help schools to develop.

He stated that his government has already assisted in building many classrooms in Kwazulu Natal. He said schools that need assistance from his government can liase with Parkin Air Drills in Louis Trichardt.

Water for Schools project pays dividends

The Water for Schools Project, which was initiated in 1999 to bring water to schools in the dry Northern Province, is starting to pay dividends to schools who were prepared to play their part for the benefit of scholars and the community.

Children at a water point at Muthuhadini Primary School. The project was completed in June 2000 Pupils of George Mbulaheni Secondary School are enjoying the water at their school. The project at their school was completed in September 2000

According to a spokesperson for Parkin Air Drills, who is implementing the project, it has become increasingly evident to the company that rural schools are desperately in need of a constant water supply on their premises. It was stated that children at various schools are sent home early on hot days due to a lack of water at the schools. Proper hygiene and clean books are impossible at the schools without a constant water supply. In such schools agricultural science could only be taught theoretically.

During discussions with several schools in the dry, rural areas of the Northern Province, Parkin Air
Drills found that the total cost of drilling and fitting a borehole is beyond most of the school's financial means and in an effort to help the schools, the company has decided to embark on a self-help project to assist schools.

The project does not involve a "hand out" to a school, as the school and community had to raise an amount of R10 000 for the project. For the rest of the payment, R25 000, Parkin Air Drills will find a sponsor.

Once the school presents a guarantee of having raised its R10 000 share in the project,and a finder has undertaken to pay the balance, drilling will commence within a week.
Weather and terrain permitting, the installation will be completed within a week from the start of the project Parkin Air Drills will drill a borehole with guaranteed water, and supply fit the hole. The installation will be guaranteed for six months.

The target group for the project are the 1 024 primary and secondary schools in the Far Northern Province Region and the 52 pre-schools in the area.

Schools already benefiting from the project include the Muthahadini Primary School at Mpheni, Tshiitwa
Secondary School at Mashamba and the George Mbulaheni Secondary School at Tshikuwe.

Five schools, Fatuwani Secondary at Malavuwe, Mpfaraseni Secondary at Malayvuwe, Hanyani Secondary at Nkuzana, Raluombe Secondary at Mashamba and Ozias Davhana Secondary at Mpheni have already applied for assistance this year.

Schools interested in gathering more information about the project as well as possible sponsors may phone015 516 0572. Application forms are available from 21 Vorster Street in Louis Trichardt

Tshiitwa Water Project opened

MASHAMBA - Dancing, singing, poetry and lots of food were the order of the day at Tshiitwa Secondary School last Saturday at a feast held to thank the Australian people for their generous funding received through the Water for Schools Project

The Australian High Commissioner, Mr David Connolly and the DAP co-ordinator, Mr Martin Walker, were the guests of honour at the ceremony.

Mr MF Rambau, chairman of Tshiitwa's governing body, mentioned that the reason for the function was to thank the Australian people for the funding, but also to let other "waterless" schools know that everything is possible provided that they put their minds to it. He also praised the Water for Schools Project for alleviating the drought being experienced by learners at various schools in the region.

The principal of the school highlighted the school's history since its establishment in 1982 as a Junior Secondary School, with an enrolment of 139 learners and 3 educators. He explained how they had a borehole drilled by the Department of Water Affairs in 1984. However, in 1993, after testing the water, the Department of Health and Welfare instructed the closure of the borehole. Thereafter followed seven trying, waterless years, when the principal carted 75 litres of water from his home to school daily.
Early in October 2000, the Water for Schools Project co-ordinator, Modjadjie Stam visited the school, and by the start of the new school year, with the Australians' help, they had clean, tested water on their newly fenced grounds once again.

Mr Mudau extend the school's gratitude to Messrs Connolly and Walker for spending their "off' time with the people at Mashamba as well as for making Australian funding available to the school for both projects. He also thanked Ms Stam and Parkin Air Drills for helping to make their dream of water at school a reality.

Ms Stam thanked the parents of Tshiitwa for the united and speedy manner in which they agreed and collected the school's 25% share of both projects. She also highlighted the fact that those schools that had already applied for the project, must be patient, because water is on its way. She explained that seeking for funding was a lengthy process and that schools should not become too impatient.

Khosi NTL Mashamba thanked Australia and Mr Rodney Parkin for alleviating a portion of the water problems in Mashamha. He thanked the learners and older dancers for their hearty participation in the celebration activities and urged the people to work together on future similar community building projects.

Mr David Connolly, Australian lligh Commissioner, toasted the school's achievements with a glass of fresh Tshiitwa School Water lie thanked all participants for the spectacular displays of traditional dancing, singing and poetry and appealed to the people to keep their traditions and culture alive for future generations for the benefit of all our children.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the Water for Schools Project can enquire at
21 Vorster Street, Louis Trichardt. The telephone number is 015 - 516 0572.

The School Governing Body, educators, learners and parents of Tchiitwa Secondary School at Mashamba wish to thank the following sponsors who helped make the celebration such a success: Easy Build, Ephraim Nengovhela, Lazarus Ramutsilei, Leach Printers, Modjadjie Stam, the Premier's Office, Premjees. Rodney Parkin, Sabco, Soutpansberg, Koelkamers, Spaza Beef Stamp Shop, Surat Trading, Vrugteman Café and Zoutpansherg Milling Co.