As we approach our year end I find it hard to believe that it is now over twelve years since I first went to Zambia. It’s even harder to believe that The Butterfly Tree has grown from sponsoring a hand full of orphans to building schools, clinics, installing bore holes and initiating an advanced malaria prevention programme. Today I am heading back to this special part of the world to check on current projects and to source new ones.
I am delighted to report that our recent distribution of mosquito nets, insecticidal coasting and larvicide granules in Moobma Chiefdom is having quite an impact. In January and February last year the number of malaria cases were 302 and 215 respectively. The total number of cases reported in the same months for 2018 are 27 in January and 38 in February. At the time of reporting two zones had not been covered, but now that the rains are abating we can include the areas that were not covered.
More funding is in place to start a malaria prevention programme in Nyawa Chiefdom. Mosquito nets have already been given out, but due to the rainy season the project had to be put on hold. Sadly, Southern Zambia has experienced unprecedented rainfall this season, which has destroyed crops and infrastructure. Once we know that these areas are accessible we will move ahead.
Seeing how we have developed so many rural schools is very rewarding, access to education for children in remote areas is essential. We have just completed a classroom block and latrines at Chaba School, classroom blocks are currenly being constructed at Singwamba, a teacher’s house at Bunsanga and a Science Laboratory at River View, keeping our team in Zambia very busy! A special thanks to the British and Foreign School Society, Attraction Tickets Direct, George Spencer Academy and the Hilary and Neil Charitable Trust for supporting our education programmes this year.
I will also be distributing much needed text books to Chaba, Mambova and River View Schools, thanks to a donation from Dawson Group and former volunteers. Far too often I see one text book to be shared amongst of class of sixty pupils. Our evaluation shows that exam results are much improved if each pupil has a text book. I will be checking up on all our orphans and as always sourcing new ones and appreciate all the support on this invaluable programme.
Despite the heavy rains many schools and villages have no access to safe clean water, therefore I shall be looking for new sites after receiving donations for bore holes. Here we take water for granted, but when you see women and children carrying water from bacteria infected streams and swamps it makes you realise how lucky we are. Next to malaria diarrohoeal disease is the greatest cause of deaths in infants.
To further improve health in rural areas a new clinic is under construction at Sikaunswe thanks to grant aid from GOAC. The site will have a main clinic, maternity ward, women’s shelter and latrines. For the Mukuni community I am looking forward to seeing the new houses for widows and the elderly looking after orphans, which have been donated by Motive Real Estate.
I shall look forward to giving you updates on my return, in the meantime you can follow my daily posts and see photos from Zambia on Facebook.