|St. Mary’s Catholic Comprehensive High School, Ndop, Cameroon
St. Mary's is the only Catholic Secondary school on the Ndop Plain. It is open to both boys and girls from all backgrounds and religions. It has several dormitories and offers boarding to both genders.
The poor and erratic water supply had been a problem for the school since it's opening in 2006. And, with climate changes taking place, the supply is inadequate even during the rainy season. The public water supply doesn't reach St. Mary's. Villagers and travelers also take water from the tap near the road. The system constructed in 2006 had been damaged by cattle roaming in the area. Animal excrement had also polluted the water.
The situation became even more problematic in the Spring of 2012. The supply dwindled to a weak stream of unclean, unsafe water at the roadside tap. It was necessary for students and staff to take buckets to the tap, fill them, and then carry them to the dormitories or housing. The water, though not potable, was nonetheless used for cooking and washing. Time that should have been spent studying or participating in sports activities was taken up transporting water for laundry.
The Holy Union Sisters received a grant of €18,484 ($25,500) from Misean Cara, a Dublin based foundation. New catchments, piping system, security devices, and storage tanks were purchased or built with this funding. The water treatment system was rehabilitated, making the water safe for consumption when filtered. Students contributed €2,171 ($3,000) worth of labor by cleaning the catchment areas, carrying stones, and planting trees. St. Mary's School donated €4,789 ($6,600) toward the project.
The water system was ready for use in August 2013. Taps located near the dormitories, the staff housing, and the classroom blocks which were dry in 2012, now have a steady strong stream of water. Overall health of the students and staff has improved. Time is no longer spent transporting water to the staff houses and student dormitories.
The roadside tap is also available to the villagers who need water and to the travelers on the Bamenda ring road.
Nancy Stiles SUSC