Since Thursday, we’re in Zambia’s capital to arrange some of the equipment for the upcoming work. So far, Tom and I have met with:
1) A pump distributor to arrange equipment to conduct pumping tests on various hand pumps in the Simango area
This will allow us to determine how much water can be pumped sustainably from each well.
2) The Dean of the Agricultural School of the University of Zambia
We spoke about the possibility of arranging Zambian students to come to Simango and get some hands-on experience with the challenges and potential of small-scale agriculture. They have expressed interest in this and are working on arranging this to possibly coincide with the group of Israeli students that will be coming in July for one week with the course I have been helping with the past few years, Rural Water Development.
This is an Israeli agricultural equipment dealer who operate in Zambia. They have most everything we need for the agricultural aspect of the project, including drip irrigation equipment, fertilizer, and nursery equipment. Netafim is donating 50 Family Drip Systems through Amiran.
4) Mark and Carmen
A “veteran” couple working in the north of Zambia. They have been working in various fields, and are most recently developing a hand-drilling program with local high school graduates. They work with Water4 Foundation in the USA. Carmen also shared with Sari some helpful information about children and health in Zambia, since they have 3 girls and have lived in Africa with them for many years. Mark also spoke about his work with agricultural microfinance, which was very helpful.
5) GeoTechno Rock Rollers
This is the name of the well drilling company in Choma, half-way between Lusaka and Livingstone. They have promised us a well by early March, after the workers return from their break from the rainy season. We hope it can be sooner, but will have to do with that. This well will serve our house as well as the experimental plot and half-hectare irrigation plot for residents to begin in April or May.
6) Dept of Water Affairs, Choma
After seeking a water level logger for conducting pumping tests, this friendly office has offered the use of theirs for 2 weeks. I hope we can manage to arrange the other equipment before then, but Tom is up for the challenge and wants to design one himself. Surprisingly, these rather important devices are apparently not available in Zambia.
We are also meeting a local seed company this morning.
And, for the first time in a year, we will see Kebby, who is studying special education in Lusaka to be equipped for teaching students with special needs.
We have been surprised at the success of each of these meetings and are encouraged that we will be able to arrange the specific details in the coming weeks.