Luini-Kabalu and Malaya are remote, rural communities located near Luansobe in the Masaiti District of the Copperbelt Province in Northern Zambia.
Luansobe is an area of approximately 1,200 square kms with a population of 37,000 people – mainly subsistence farming families. The average family size is about seven and many families are looking after the HIV/AIDS orphans of deceased relatives. Luansobe has a school and a health centre although this is not local to many of these scattered communities.
Prior to this project there were no formal water systems and most people drew water from unprotected hand-dug wells or river-beds, often miles away. In fact, in a socio-economic survey conducted in 2010 only 43% of the inhabitants reported having access to clean water and often this was at some considerable distance from their homes. 30% of eligible children do not attend primary school and those that do walk an average of 70 minutes to and from school each day. Elderly and vulnerable people found it hard to fetch water and as a result, hygiene standards were poor.
Much of the Luini-Kabalu community relied on an old well or closer, muddy pools during the wet season. At the well they drew water up using a rope and bucket and then carried it home in heavy, plastic containers.
The Malaya community collected water from a swampy area, or similarly, closer, muddy pools during the wet season. During the dry season the water quality and quantity deteriorated even further.
Children, in particular girls, are involved daily in this work, carrying heavy plastic drums. This has a disruptive effect on their schooling.
There is also a high prevalence of water-borne diseases due to the lack of safe water. This can lead to severe illness and unfortunately also, tragically, the death of children under the age of five.
A project was designed to provide the communities with an accessible, clean and safe water source. The project was implemented by Just a Drop’s local partner Kaloko Trust and sponsored by Corinthia Hotels.
The communities were selected on the conditions below:
- The formation of a representative water and sanitation (wat-san) committee
- The selection of two candidates for borehole maintenance training
- Agreement by the community of the levying of a user fee and the level of fee set
- The collection of an initial user membership fee from all potential users
- The opening of a bank account for depositing the levy.
To ensure the longevity and impact of the project (a crucial element of all Just a Drop projects) community-elected women and men were trained to work together as a committee in each village to repair and manage the water system.
The Water and Sanitation Committees were officially elected and both committees consist of 10 local residents. All members of the committee completed the borehole maintenance and repair training which ran in early September 2014. As part of their training the groups pulled up and repaired three damaged government borehole wells in Kamanga, Kabotolo and Chimbwe Villages.
The community made contributions in kind which formed part of the project and saved costs. They contributed local materials, gathering a ton of sand and a ton of stones, for the construction of the apron. The community cleared the drilling site as well as contributing labour during apron construction.
By the 29th September 2014 both boreholes had been drilled by the Blue Nile drilling company. The hand pumps were then installed in early October, 2014. The apron around the pump was constructed by a local contractor based in Luansobe community. Blue Nile drilling company contracted a local person in order to further empower people living in the project area.
During the month of November 2014 the borehole was visited by Just a Drop Project Engineer Peter Marsh who checked the installation and met with the community. Following that visit in late November 2014 the apron was repaired to improve drainage and a plaque was installed.
The committees were also trained in financial management so that they can manage their funds. The groups have already raised the initial ZMW 1,500 required and are now collecting user fees (approximately 50p a month). They were left with a pump manual (in the local language, Lamba). The Masaiti District Water Department has a price list of spare parts which has also been given to the committee.
The communities have been advised to service their borehole every six months and to check for loose parts and cracks.
The community of Malaya are now walking less than 1.5km to collect clean safe water. It takes on average less than 25 minutes to collect a 20 litre container. The project has not only reduced the time spent by women and girls fetching water but it has also improved the health of their families by reducing the incidence of water-borne diseases. 100% of the inhabitants, 210 people, of the Malaya community now have continuous access to safe water. The borehole/hand-pump can cater for at least 250 people meeting demands of the growing community for many more years to come.
It is estimated that there will be a 60% reduction in the reported water and sanitation related diseases in the Malaya community within just six months.
80% of the members of Malaya water and sanitation committee now have the capacity to maintain and repair their own borehole and hand-pump without outside assistance.
The community of Luini-Kabalu are now all walking less than 1km to collect clean safe water. It takes on average less than 30 minutes to collect a 20 litre container. The project has not only reduced the time spent by women and girls fetching water but it has also improved the health of their families by reducing the incidence of water-borne diseases. 100% of the inhabitants, 189 people, of the Luini-Kabalu community now have continuous access to safe water. The borehole/hand-pump can cater for at least 250 people meeting demands of the growing community for many more years to come.
It is estimated that there will be a 60% reduction in the reported water and sanitation related diseases in Luini-Kabalu community after 6 months. 80% of the members of Luini-Kabalu water and sanitation committee now have the capacity to maintain and repair their own borehole and hand-pump without outside assistance.
Thank you very much to Corinthia Hotels for making this project possible.