Day 13 – Asbestos removal and latrine consulting

The morning started with the team splitting into two groups; one headed to site for the day, and one headed to a rural village to advise on the construction of school latrines. 

Kazemba School is located near Chongwe, down a long dirt path off the road towards Chipata from Lusaka. Typical of a remotely situated school there is no electricity, and water must be pumped from deep boreholes. Unsurprisingly, there are no “cold brews” here, nor is there a TV to watch the Under 20s World Cup football. Indeed, people fall asleep before Eastenders even starts and wake up at the first rooster’s crow (this rooster is bigger and louder than the one at our house!)

The headmistress took us to the site of the new latrines where we found a large pit six metres long and two metres wide. So far it had been dug to one metre depth, with another two to go. There’s no JCB diggers here… just a few shovels and the combined efforts of everyone in the community! Eventually two pits this size are to be dug to 3m make four male and four female toilets. We have been asked to sketch out a design and write up a bill of quantities. 

Back at Munali the asbestos roof has now been removed from the changing rooms and rotten timbers will be taken down tomorrow. The netball court is also making good progress – all topsoil has been removed and trenches are currently being dug (by hand) for the foundations. 

Some interesting facts we learnt about Zambian construction workers today:

  • If they don’t have access to a ladder they will happily build one themselves (pics to come soon)
  • They can use a smashed glass bottle to sharpen their pickaxes. 

This evening Dani and Lana attended a local aerobics class. After the session Lana proclaimed, “I’ve never sweated so much in my life!” Later adding, “they were amused by our presence. And told us if we don’t come back tomorrow your body will hate you”

Today also marked our first solo(ish) attempt at making nshima. Camille knocked up a wonderful stew, and we only required Caesar’s assistance in small doses whilst cooking the nshima.

More updates soon!

P.S. The last two pictures are of the biggest termite mound we’d ever seen.


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