Sidmouth traders lay foundations for Tanzanian school

Money being raised in Sidmouth and Exmouth, to build a school in the Buturi region of Tanzania, has been used to lay its foundations.

MONEY being raised in Sidmouth and Exmouth to build a school in the Buturi region of Tanzania has been used to lay its foundations.

In the first phase of the Buturi Makongoro School Project; brainchild of Judith Smith of Sanaa House, Sidmouth, who comes from the village, self-employed builder and carpenter Mick Rose from Luppitt paid to fly with Judith, her daughter Alicia and engineering student Joe Fallows, 19, from Leicester, to lay the foundations for the school, which it is hoped in the future will have eight classrooms.

“We went in the rainy season, expecting rain, but there was none, it was burning hot,” said Mick, who is delighted with the progress he, Joe and the team of local workers managed in the 16 days they were there.

He said: “I didn’t want to go there and tell them what to do, I did as much as they did. Judith was in charge of getting the materials, such as five tons of cement.

“We got the foundations up to the oversite [mass concrete slab floor] for the whole school.”

His friend’s son Joe, whose family held a Beetle Drive to raise �1,000 for the flight, will study civil engineering at university later this year.

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School inspectors visited during the work and made several changes to the design produced by Exmouth architect Malcolm Gigg.

They want the pupils’ toilet block separated from the school building, although the teachers’ toilets will remain attached, together with an internal corridor to reach different classes.

The kitchen will be moved from its position near classrooms to the library area and in its place will go a staff/meeting room.

Three classrooms will be constructed at first and more added as money is raised.

Mick estimates 15,000 clay bricks are needed for the build, which will be made locally.

The Buturi Makongoro School Project has launched a �1 a brick appeal on its website:, and, says Mick, more fundraising is needed to raise �5,000 needed to continue work on the school.

Enthused by what has been achieved so far, Mick is keen to get back to Tanzania in November to carry on.

“I think we could get the brickwork up to roof level next time, but we need to do mega fundraising,” he said.

*Donations can be made through the Buturi website or direct to Judith at Sanaa House, High Street, Sidmouth.