Maloya Village finally has clean water! On two occasions the borehole company drilled dry holes that failed to strike an underground aquifer. Drilling multiple dry holes is pretty rare in the well-drilling business. Residents of Maloya felt like they were cursed and would never benefit from a clean source of water. We stuck by Maloya, taking a financial risk by drilling for a third time. Thankfully, the risk paid off! On December 2, 2018, we learned that the drilling company had struck clean water on its third attempt. The rainy season caused a delay in finishing the borehole, but, on January 31, 2019, residents of Maloya and Field Officer Macford Chinonga gathered to celebrate the opening of the well.
On Saturday, January 12, 2019, Chiyuni gathered with Field Officer Wedson Kondowe to open the nursery school. Guests of honor included a local counselor (politician) and the Primary Education Advisor from the Ministry of Education. The chief of Chiyuni was very happy, as this was the first development project in his area in recent memory. The nursery school will help not only Chiyuni Village, but also neighboring communities. The school just opened and already has an enrollment of over 80 learners. A representative from NGO Feed the Children committed to providing flour for children attending the nursery school to eat porridge when school is in session. At the ceremony, people danced and expressed their joy that the nursery school will help prepare kids for primary education.
On August 12, 2018, the project committee procured materials. Mushroom growing requires a clean base material in which mushroom spores can germinate (in this case, corn husks) and a relatively cool, dark space for mushrooms to grow. As shown in the pictures below, Likoswe used wooden poles to build a shed to house the mushrooms. Community members covered the shed in grass and lined the structure with plastic. After sanitizing the corn husks in boiling water, Likoswe mixed the husks with mushroom seeds and stuffed the mixture into plastic bags with holes. Mushrooms grew from the bags. Mature mushrooms were harvested and sold, earning the community about $500. On January 10, 2019, the project halted because heavy rains damaged the shed and mushrooms inside. As of this moment, it is unclear whether the mushroom project will resume. It appears that residents working on the project decided to divvy up their profits instead of reinvesting them in another round of mushroom growing.
The borehole was drilled by Vonder Water Technologies in early December 2018. The borehole's depth is 63 meters. The local government tested the water and confirmed its safety for drinking. On January 5, 2019, after allowing the cement around the borehole to dry, Yelemiya gathered to celebrate its new borehole. The borehole will provide clean water not only Yelemiya, but also the neighboring villages of Yakumutu and Chaluchamala, helping about 350 households in all. The chiefs from these villages were present at the celebration, as was field officer Wedson Kondowe.