Zambia - Despite Zambia owning over 40% of the water in the Southern part of Africa, access to clean and safe drinking water remains a farfetched dream for most rural communities.
In September 2014 World Vision Zambia Choongo ADP embarked on the water mechanization project for Keemba Primary and Secondary School then Keemba Basic School.
At that particular time the school had a total population of 1,242 pupils, 30 Teacher households and only one water hand pump.
This was a major challenge being faced at the school and the community at large,.
Keemba primary school history teacher and WASH chairperson, Lovemore Malilwe was very happy with the works that World Vision has been doing for the school.
He said World Vision has touched so many peoples’ lives and will therefore always be remembered for the good things the organisation has done for the school and the community.
“It seems like a dream, just opening a tap and water is coming out, we are grateful,” said Lovemore.
As he recalled the challenges the school used to face before the taps were installed, he stretched out a number of challenges that were being faced by the school and failure to teach agriculture science as practical lessons was one of them.
He said sanitation was also one of the challenges because the class attendance of pupils was affected due to health risks associated with the use of toilets without water.
"But after the mechanization, the attendance drastically increased from 60% to about 95%," he added.
With such improvements Lovemore Malilwe hoped that this will further translate into better academic performance at the school.
“Teaching for Agriculture Science has improved with the introduction of practical learning because pupils have school gardens and are now able to practice,” stated Lovemore.
Meanwhile Keemba primary school headteacher, Godfrey Simutelo was quick to mention that he believed that the mechanised water system would be a contributing factor to the reasons why the Government had approved the construction of water borne ablution block costing more than K350, 000.
He expressed excitement that pupils are now able to acquire life skills, because they now have a privilege to have practical lessons in agriculture.
“In the past the only place where we could buy vegetables is 7Kilometers away but now things have changed, villagers are coming to buy vegetables from the school,” said Mr. Simutelo. In the near future the school will start selling its farming outputs to supplement on the school budget on sports and other school events."
Grade 12 pupil, Sharon Mutande also explained on how she used to spend a lot of time fetching water and that by the time she would be going to school she would be tired.
“It is good we have water at our school and we will now be able to wash our hands to keep clean
She said before the water taps were installed, she used to be afraid of being in boarding but not anymore.
“Thank you World Vision, may God bless you because you are saving peoples lives,” said Sharon.