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Emvembili Primary School Water Scheme

A Joint Venture by the European Union and MOSS Foundation


In 2015, the European Union and MOSS Foundation completed a joint venture project to build the Emvembili Primary School Water Scheme in Swaziland. The project was coordinated by Kathy Gau, CEO of local NGO, Vusumnotfo. After more than 2 years of planning, coordination and hard work on building the system, the clean water began flowing.

Children and teachers gathered at the project hand over

Although the local mountain spring is beautiful, the water is not clean enough for quality drinking water and it was evident that filtration was needed. The water scheme included installation of MOSS sand filtration tanks to clean the water before it reaches the Emvembili Primary School.


A small dam was constructed to capture enough water to provide the kids at Emvembili Primary School with a much needed life changing permanent water supply. The mountain spring is located 1.3 kilometres from from the school and the reservoir dam and and water filters were constructed at this location. A hand dug water pipeline was trenched for the entire 1.3 kilometre distance, delivering the filtered water from the dam to the school.


A rain water harvesting system was also developed, supplementing the spring water source with rain water collected from the school class room roof. The scheme then included a series of standpipes to provide water access to the staff quarters, a communal wash station, the animal sheds, the kitchen and the church building.

Water access was also provided to the school garden grounds, allowing for easier and more sanitary growing of vegetable to feed the children at the care centre and surrounding community. This type of water access does away with the need for women and girls to spend time carrying water vessels to and from the river and the gardens.


The local community contributed 1,770 days of volunteer manual labour to the construction project including digging of the pipe trench, concrete works for the dam as well as installation works for the filter systems and tanks.


MOSS Africa, led by Bruce Jameson, designed a back wash system that enables the local community to easily and effectively clean the filtration system for ongoing longevity of the water scheme assets. This is important due to the high levels of mud and sediment in the local water source. During the design phase the water quality was tested by a Water Chemist from the Swaziland Government so ensure it met the required standards.


This scheme also consisted of an outdoor wash station. Outdoor laundries and wash stations are extremely valuable assets as they ensure physical separation of potentially polluting activities such as wash of clothes from the clean water sources. Wash station effluent, containing soap and washings from diapers and dirty items, is kept out of creek and river areas used by many communities for drinking water.

Emvembili Outdoor Wash Station

Over all, the Emvembili Water Scheme will serve the primary school students, teachers, parents and the broader local community through accessibility via the church and other outbuildings.


Contributions for the scheme were provided by the (EU 60%), MOSS Foundation (38%), the local Member of Parliament contributed from his own money (2%) and the local community contributed 1,770 days of volunteer labour. MOSS was pleased to be able to partner with the EU in order to maximise the benefit to the community and looks for forward to any other future partnership opportunities.