********Please refer to our blog posts for exciting updates after 9/22/13
Project update, 9/22/13:
Our unpaid outreach workers have been hard at work! Yesterday they had their team building exercises and pre-training for our big education session at the Bisa ceremony in Chief Kopa’s area. The ceremony is expected to attract many people from many tribes in the Mpika area and beyond. After the WASH presentation at the ceremony, there will be a question and answer session and chlorine, soap and other prizes will be handed out.
The outreach workers have been meeting community workers weekly discussing future plans and also doing WASH education in the first village. They have taught the proper distance for latrines from living quarters and water sources. They have also been teaching the importance of hand-washing, boiling water and using chlorine tablets that they have handed out.
Nurse Kunda has reported an increase in dysentery, with approximately 100 cases per month in our catchment area. As a result, the outreach workers have increased the education sessions at the local schools. Starting next month, we have also formed a partnership with the local clinic to teach mothers at the under-five clinics to decrease incidences of diarrhea in children under the age of five. In addition to that, we are purchasing and handing out more free chlorine tablets and soap to try and decrease or prevent the increase of the dysentery numbers.
Community members (including Chief Chikwanda) have been very encouraging of our efforts! This has helped us overcome our minor setbacks knowing that the community is supportive of our efforts as we are of their efforts.
We continue to solicit funding for the project, especially for the borehole and thank all those that have donated resources, financially and otherwise.
The pilot project site is located in the Northern part of Zambia in Muchinga Province
Mpika district. The area is surrounded by six villages which are chikwanda, Sefu, Chintu, Chalwe A, Chalwe B and Mwalala. It is under the chiefdom of his Royal Highness Chikwanda. The tourist-popular Muchinga escarpment is home to a large amount of wildlife. The area’s population is approximately 2,100 people. The major languages spoken are Besa and Bemba.
Zambia is in the tropical region and the country experiences two seasons, the dry season and the rainy season. The northern part of Zambia, where Mpika is, experiences more rainfall than other parts because of its proximity to the equator.
Poverty has been increased by HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis; which has also lowered the life expectancy rate and increased the number of orphans dependent on their elderly grandparents. Those classified as poor live off less than a dollar a day.
Description of Project:
• Educate the community on water safety and community responsibility to maintain water sites
• Create a community which is clean
• Have access to safe drinking water
• Educate school children on hand-washing
• Establish a new water source closer to the village
Objectives: This will be a pilot project that will serve as a model for other villages in the area. The first phase of the project involves meeting with the chief, community members, the city council, healthcare professionals and a representative from the Ministry of Social and Economic Development. The community has one pump installed by World Vision at a local school, and they will be contacted to see how that pump is managed.
Process: The pilot project began on May 24th, 2013 and all initial meetings necessary were positively concluded. The community members were consulted on what goals they would like to achieve and are in agreement with the lesson plan provided to achieve sanitary conditions. The community felt there was a need to have access to safe drinking water as they drink untreated water drawn directly from rivers, streams and other free water sources. The community is prone to malaria and waterborne diseases due to a lack of safe drinking water. Community members use the same rivers and streams for activities of daily living like drinking water, washing dishes, washing clothes and bathing. Chief Chikwanda also approved Water Empowerment’s participation in the annual Besa ceremony in August to teach about the importance of clean water and sanitation.
Objectives: The project coordinator will follow through with educating the community on ways to improve sanitation in the area and liaise with community members to find viable solutions on maintaining and obtaining clean water for use by community members. The committee members will meet weekly to evaluate progress and make adjustments to the project.
Process: The project coordinator will be educated by the founder on water, sanitation and hygiene using the teaching materials and lesson plan provided by Water Empowerment. The project coordinator will, in turn, train the committee members, who will then go out and teach the community. In addition to this, the company that will be putting in the bore hole will teach several community members how to maintain the bore hole. The community has also agreed to charge for use of the bore hole in order to raise funds for spare parts needed in the future to keep the bore hole running.
At the weekly meetings, the committee members will discuss how receptive the community has been to the teaching sessions, what changes have been noted in the community and how the project can be improved.
Objectives: Project evaluation and conclusion.
Process: Qualitative evaluations will be conducted by the committee members each week using subjective data provided by the community members during the training sessions and anecdotal evidence. This information will be included in a weekly report compiled by the project coordinator and handed to the board of directors for assessment. The evaluation results will be used to adjust the project for continuous quality improvement. Dissemination of information for the project will also be available on the organization’s website
The budget is based on approximate costs, with prices identified in the community and through internet searches.