Update on the Solar-Powered Water System Project in the Zimba District

By World Forgotten Children Foundation on Dec 22, 2023

In the fall of 2020, the World Forgotten Children Foundation (WFCF) embarked on a transformative journey in partnership with the African Community Project to address a pressing issue in the Zimba District, Southern Province, Zambia. The initiative aimed to install a solar-powered water system at the Republic of Hope’s Bulangzi Garden and Orchard Complex, with a total funding of US $6,050 from WFCF.

Background: A Call to Action Inspired by UN's Water Development Report

Motivated by the United Nations World Water Development Report, "Leaving no one behind," the project sought to alleviate the struggles faced by many women in the rural community of Zimba District. These women, often heads of their households, faced challenges in providing for their families due to limited access to clean drinking water and food sources.

The installation of a reliable water source became a beacon of hope, offering an opportunity for these women to cultivate vegetables and fruits for their families while also generating income for the community.

Construction & Equipment: A Comprehensive Approach

The project unfolded in three crucial phases, ensuring a comprehensive and sustainable solution:

  • Permits and Initial Preparations: The first phase involved securing all necessary permits to kickstart the project.
  • Drilling and Infrastructure Setup: The second phase focused on well drilling, including the installation of a steel liner and concrete pouring. It also encompassed the creation of a fence perimeter to protect against theft and the development of a storeroom and security post.
  • System Finalization: The final phase marked the conclusion of drilling and the installation of the pump, tank, solar panels, and controlling switches. It also included additional steps like the establishment of an irrigation system, strategic crop planning, and the purchase of equipment and seeds.

Project Completion and Beyond

By March 2021, the solar-powered water system was fully operational. The African Community Project, under the leadership of Passwell Nyambe, is now overseeing the project's transition to the local steering committee. Plans for additional projects, such as an apiary with 20 beehives, demonstrate a commitment to long-term sustainability.

Impact on the Community

Since 2021, three women's clubs with a total of 80 members have been engaged in seasonal vegetable production. The solar-powered water system has enabled off-season vegetable cultivation, benefiting 80 households. Income and food security have improved, allowing families to venture into small livestock rearing. Access to clean water has also reduced waterborne diseases, enabling families to support their school-going children.

The primary challenge reported is the fence perimeter. Domestic animals, particularly during the dry season, pose a threat to crops. Efforts to create a perimeter using thorn bushes have proven insufficient.

However, despite challenges, the women's clubs demonstrate resilience. They have been granted lifetime land ownership by the Chief, showcasing the community's commitment to the project's long-term success.

Conclusion: A Life-Changing Investment

The Bulangzi Garden and Orchard Complex project is a testament to the positive impact of community-driven initiatives. With 80 households directly benefiting, the project has not only improved livelihoods but also fostered community resilience. WFCF's commitment to sustainable projects continues to uplift forgotten communities, providing a ray of hope in the face of climate challenges and socioeconomic disparities. As we celebrate the success of this endeavor, we look forward to witnessing the enduring transformation it brings to the lives of those it touches.

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