In the past many rural primary boarding schools would request pupils to bring some water to school when they return from home on Mondays as the school water supply is not really adequate. One such school is the SK Bukit Batu run by the present Guru Besar Laurentius thomas who has been proactive to ask for parents to help install more water tanks for the boarders.
I am using some of his photos for my blog today....Congratulations to him and the parents who rally together to capture rainwater for their children. bukit Batu is about 3 hours from Limbang Town in the Fifth Division of Sarawak. Thanks to Ann Chin for making me realise even more that we in Sarawak are also having to save rain water in many different ways.
the primary school is populated by children from the surrounding longhouses situated along the Sg. Medamit which is a tributary of the larger and once formidable Limbang River.. When these school pupils complete their primary school they will attend Medamit Government Secondary School or some may even be sent to SMK Limbang or other premier schools according to their results. Needless to say not many of the them score 5A's because of so many adverse factors.
. The River Medamit is too polluted by logging and oil palm. Government piped water has not been able to reach Medamit and Bukit Batu. It is definitely a challenge for the people here to produce university graduates and to raise the income level. Hovever it may surprise many that there are several university graduates and many professionals from this area since 1960's and have made it to the Who's Who in a recent book by a Lawas historian.
Many of these professionals have tales of their barefoot childhood and youthful scrounging for five sen or ten sen in Limbang river at low tides..
Fathers get together to put up a strong wooden platform for the water tank -more captured rain water for toilet and bathing from now on. You can see the pretty pink toilets which is so typical of rural Sarawak primary school scene.
Mothers also do their share with great enthusiasm.
Parents and teachers meet to discuss their plans for the gotong royong or cooperative activity.
Here mothers with their rattan baskets roll the tank to be installed. Now they do not have to worry about sending water in jerry cans or orange bottles for their children for teeth brushing and drinking(boiled).
Little children may sometimes be so thirsty that they drink the polluted water if available and they all get stomach upset thus causing them to lose many hours of studying time.
Teachers are surrogate parents and change agents amongst other roles. And I am sure the teachers in this school are playing more than their expected roles. The local community places its hopes in their children and schools like this. A pro active Head Teacher is a ray of hope! And teachers bring sunshine to this little rain forest opening.. The future of these children is definitely in the hands of these respsonsible adults.