Water for all health centres in Eastern Zambia
Last year the Jacana Smart Centre coordinated a project to provide health centres in Eastern Zambia with hand washing facilities.
The project was in response to the outbreak of Covid-19 as it proved that many health centres lacked such facilities and were waiting for the government or aid organisations to step up.
Lack of water facilities
At the moment, the most critical for hospitals in Zambia in their fight against Covid-19, is the lack of respirators. But when the pandemic broke out, more than 10 percent of the health centres in Eastern Zambia, lacked facilities for hand washing. So initially, the centres themselves were at risk of becoming a source for contamination.
The provincial Ministry of Health and the Janaca Smart Centre joint forces. With expertise of the Janaca Smart Centre to build affordable water facilities, the remaining health centres now all have been equipped with a water facility.
Financing for the first 15 boreholes, was made available by Westberg foundation, Marie-Stella-Maris and Smart Centre. Dutch humanitarian organisation Wilde Ganzen doubled every euro.
According to Rik Haanen, director of the Jacana Smart Centre in Zambia, the local government mentioned that 35 health centers had no water. ‘An initial survey, showed that the number was much higher, so each district was asked separately for more information. We learned that 69 centres had no water’, Haanen explains.
‘All these locations were visited and we found out that a quarter already had plain water available. More than half had a pump but it was broken. Ten percent of the centres said to be waiting for help from the government or an aid organisation.’
Trained manual drillers
The Smart Centre organised drilling teams that were dispatched to the centres that lacked water. The team members were drawn from the EMD-cooperation that consists of manual drillers that have been trained by the Jacana Smart Centre.
EMD cooperation was formed in 2018 by a group of drillers who were technically trained and their skills were upgraded by Jacana from hand dug wells to manual drilling. The cooperation is licensed by the government under the Ministry of Water and Natural Resources (Warma).
Although headquartered in the eastern province, EMD offers its services nationwide, meaning that it can manual drill boreholes anywhere in Zambia at an affordable cost to every Zambian.
The boreholes at the health centres were made in such a way that they can easily be upgraded if desired after the Covid-crisis. The EMD-drillers have been trained to assist in this.
In total, 31 pumps were successfully installed and boreholes drilled. At the remaining centers, the soil structure was too hard or even too heavy for machine drillers to find water in these places.