Primary Project Aim: £7-10k for Water Pump & Filtration System for community, livestock & crops
Installing a new water pump and water filtration system is the utmost priority as water is life giving and life sustaining. The water pump in the town has completely broken down and cannot be repaired. People have had no running water for months. The only other sources of water are the nearby dam and boreholes which mean people have to carry 20L of water often for long distances to their homes many times a day in the blazing heat. These buckets are usually carried by women or young girls on their heads, sometimes a wheelbarrow is used to carry more. The dam is crocodile ridden and is hazardous for anyone trying to draw water from it. Now the town is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis as other sources of water have become contaminated and people are falling ill. The only solution to avert this crisis is to get a new water pump and filtration system.
The above photo is of the dam, which is a 4km walk from town. This is the dam where the towns people have to draw water and carry back to town on their heads and/or in a wheelbarrow. It is a life threatening exercise. The dam is crocodile ridden. Among the crocs there lived one lonely hippo. When darkness fell he would leave the water and walk around the area making it very dangerous for anyone to walk in the dark. The hippo likes to go into the field with the cattle for company.
Walking down to the dam to do the laundry. I will never take my washing machine for granted again.
Sometimes someone will drive down to the borehole to get water, but as the nearest petrol station is over an hours drive away, this option is not always feasible. The roads are also in very poor condition making the journey difficult.
Walking down to the dam is a perilous journey as snakes crawl out on to the path and you have to maintain vigilance for slithering or striking snakes.
The above photo is from google search and is to give you the idea of the type of water pump and filtration system Kamativi is in dire need of. The added bonus of solar panels make this system advantageous in that there are no electricity bills to pay. The water provided is clean, accessible and not a 4km walk away or a croc wanting to have you for dinner in sight.
The above photo demonstrates agricultural irrigation on a large community scale. The Water pump can be adapted to pipe into an irrigation trough to sustain the crops, so that drought and consequential crop failure and livestock starvation would no longer be an issue. The irrigation system would promote a versatility of crops i.e., wheat, potatoes, barley, oats and green vegetables. Advanced agricultural capabilities would lend significantly to self sustainable practices, strengthening economic growth.
Secondary Project Aim:
Re-build church incl a fridge £4,680.
Fix foundation subsidence £2,000.
Lunches for school children per year £2,700
Investing in the future: Smartboard, projector, copy books, school text books & writing implements & fridge £6,000
Restore employment and revitalisation scheme: Restore filling/petrol station £17,000
Summer/winter Shoes for school children £2,000
Community playground for the children with safety aspects £2,600
Baby formular and diapers £2,000
Build a dry goods store £3,500
Cattle feed & supplements each 50lb bag £16.00 £5000 (312 bags)
Build and kit out a post office: £6,500
Soap & Laundry powder £1,000
Community solar powered laundrette & three washing Machines £5,000
Re-build the church and fix the foundation subsidence of the church. Build a community laundrette powered by solar panels. Install a smart board for the school. Washing powder for the laundrette and dove soap. Copy books, pencils, rubbers, colouring pens & pencils for the children. Re-build the petrol station to provide community employment. Shoes for the children to run in and walk in during winter and flipflops/sandals for the hot summer. Disposable nappies/diapers and bottle formular for the babies. School lunches for the children. A fridge for the school and the church. Build a dry goods store room for storing cattle feed, cow minerals and supplements. Food is scarce for the cattle, and cattle feed is a necessity due to the drought. Re-vialise the local market place and add a post office as the nearest post office is over an hour's drive away. The addition of the post office and re building of the filling/petrol station will engineer the onset of economic re-habilitation and growth due to the revitalisation efforts that Kamativi has not witnessed since the tin mine closed over 15 years ago.
The above photo is of the main shopping area of Kamativi, the following two photos depict the remainder of Kamativi town. You will note how dilapidated and weary the town has become since the closing of the mine. Kamativi is in dire need of revitalisation, to spur economic growth and employment.
A once vibrant and energetic village prior to the mine closure now resembles a ghost town. Generations of families live here and the sense of community is strong, but since the mine closure it has rapidly gone down hill and is in dire need of your pennies.
The above photo is of a church being built, but the people ran out of money while building the church and they have to celebrate mass outside in the scorching sun under a tree. I call it the hottest place in Zimbabwe as twice I attended mass there in temperatures over 40 degrees. The poor priest had to be pitied as he nearly fainted from the heat of the sun whilst in his vestments. The cost to put a roof on the church is $200 - a second hand car costs more.
A solar panel is flexible in the type of structure it can be fixed to. The above photo is only to give you an idea of building a solar paneled community laundrette. The structure itself is low cost to build and low maintenance.
In 1834, German analytical chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge discovered a phenol, now known as carbolic acid, which he derived in an impure form from coal tar. One of the distinctive features of this soap is its deep pink to red colour, which is caused by carbolic acid. Carbolic acid is actually used in a wide range of industrial and consumer product applications and can be a skin irritant with prolonged contact/use. The towns folk use carbolic soap to wash their clothes (by hand) and to bathe with. Dove soap is kinder to the skin for personal use and laundry powder is more effective in cleaning clothes combined with a washing machine and safer than prolonged contact with carbolic soap.
About our project:
Kamativi is a small town in north western Zimbabwe Africa where I spent the last five months. It has a population of 6,600. There are not many shops in the town, mainly a few convenience stores, the nearest supermarket and bank are about 100km away. Corn is the main crop cultivated there, unfortunately this year there wasn't much rain and the crops are failing. The water pump in the town has completely broken down and cannot be repaired. People have had no running water for months. The only sources of water are the nearby dam and boreholes which mean people have to carry 20l of water often for long distances to their homes many times a day in the blazing heat. These buckets are usually carried by women or young girls on their heads, sometimes a wheelbarrow is used to carry more.
Digging for water at the boreholes
Christina has to carry her baby while she makes the trek for water, she is unable to stabilize the baby and carry water at the same time. Her flip flops are fine for walking around town but are unforgiving on a 8k round-trip trek with a baby on her hip and a 20L bucket of water on her head.
The dam is crocodile ridden and is hazardous for anyone trying to draw water from it. Now the town is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis as the other sources of water have become contaminated and people are falling ill. The only solution to avert this crisis is to get a new water pump and filtration system. The town is characterised by extreme poverty. The people have no money to pay their rates. Unemployment is high due to the mine closure. Kamativi was a former tin mine which was the main source of employment for the town, it closed in June 1994 after international prices fell to such a low level which made operations too expensive to sustain. Now all that remains of the once prosperous mining town are an abandoned derelict mine and buildings, the former mine workers were left occupying the mine houses in abject poverty, the town resembles a ghost town. The roads are in very bad condition making driving an obstacle course, not to mention trying to avoid the poor starved cattle and goats trying to graze the very few blades of grass on the side of the roads.
Electricity cuts are very common usually on a daily basis which means that cooking outside on the fire (sometimes in the dark) is a normal activity. Many people have no electricity as they cannot afford to pay the bill. Food is scarce, their staple diet is a porridge made of millimeal (corn) called sadza. It is served with cabbage and sometimes with a little chicken or beef when they can afford it. NOT MANY VEHICLES in Kamativi, very few people have cars.
The towns people walk everywhere and children have to walk or run long distances to school. It is not unusual to see a child run up to 16km to school without breakfast and not have anything to eat until they run home again in the evening making it very difficult for them to concentrate or learn from hunger and weakness. All it would cost to feed all the children in the school a daily bowl of porridge is £50 every week. People have very little money, even to support their priest. Offertory offerings at Mass often were a bag of rice or sugar, one toilet roll, even a live chicken. The total money offering for a Sunday Mass was usually less than £10. Priests are not paid by the diocese they rely completely on their parish for funds. They do not receive mass stipends as people have no money. As a result priests are leaving the priesthood because they can't afford to live.
Many parishes can't afford to build a church some have tried and have run out of funds for a roof as a result Mass has to be celebrated outside in the blazing heat or in a mud building with a grass roof. The church in the town has a crack running the whole way across the supporting wall (the crack starts from the edge of the wall, straight across behind Christ's pelvis, continuing on through the tabernacle and extending the rest of the way) which is extremely dangerous because if it collapses the whole building could fall down but there is no money to repair it.
The women wash the clothes in buckets with carbolic soap which is irritating to their skin and leaves their hands chapped, cracked and worn. The town is in dire need of a community laundrette with at least three second-hand industrial sized washing machines and solar panels on the roof to power the wash cycles due to the electricity cuts and lack of money to pay the electricity bills. The towns former petrol station needs to be brought back to life to provide jobs and promote economic stability.
The school children are desperately in need of copy/exercise books and writing instrument to facilitate their learning. Due to the extreme hot weather, and the scarcity of food, fridges are needed to preserve what food they have to minimise food waste and perpetutate hunger. The cattle are starving and are in dire need of food provisions and a community barn for storing dry goods for the cattle. Veterinary assistance is needed badly. The babies that are unable to breastfed desperately need access to bottle formula.
But it is not all bad news in spite of these bad conditions and poverty they are a very happy people with a deep inner peace and happiness that is unusual to see in our highly stressed lives. They are always ready with a smile and a kind word and they are always grateful for anything no matter how small. They live with an 'attitude of gratitude'. They are very hospitable people ready to help anyone, ready to give away whatever they have, very much reminiscent of Ireland 60 years ago.
FUNDRAISING Faustina Reidy and Rose Needham are going to take part in the VHI Mini Marathon in Dublin on June 1 to raise funds for Kamativi. We are relying on the generousity of people to help us reach the target of £70.000. We are extremely grateful for any donation no matter how small. Every cent collected will go directly to the cause. None of the money raised will be spent on admin, tv ads or wages. Every cent goes directly to Kamativi. Please consider this worthy cause, it may save lives. Everyone has a right to clean water and to live not just survive.
Many thanks again for your kind consideration