By Kambani Phiri, Communications Specialist, Zambia
After almost 15 years of implementing community development programmes in the Mporokoso district, World Vision Zambia, with support from World Vision Australia, held a multi-stakeholder close-out celebratory event at Lupungu Primary school to transition out of the five (5) wards of the district.
Speaking on behalf of World Vision Zambia National Director John Hasse, World Vision Zambia Associate Director for Operations Mr Kenny Sondoyi said the organization believes that the community has been empowered with tools to overcome poverty and that the children will experience life in its fullness.
As World Vision transitions out of Mporokoso district, I am confident that the communities will continue to move with dignity and hope for the future. The protective system built and strengthened will continue to offer a hand up and carry on with the transformative and development agenda,
He explained that at the start of the 15 years journey, the communities in the Mporokoso Area Programme faced numerous challenges such as dilapidated and Inadequate health facilities, high disease burden, malnutrition, inadequate sources of safe and clean drinking water, and poor sanitation and hygiene practices in both schools and the community at large.
“15 years ago, Mporokoso district had so many problems; as such, we embarked on a journey and walked alongside the communities together with the government and different cooperating partners with support from New Zealand and Australian donors,” said Mr. Sondoyi. “Our goal was to contribute to improved quality of life for children, their families and the community of Mporokoso chiefdom by 2022 in 5 wards, namely: Chishamwamba, Muchinga, Kapumo, Chimpolonge and Mutotoshi.”
Mr Sondoyi said the organization invested over K100 million ($5.5 million US Dollars) in the 15 years of operation, benefiting over 31,000 people.
"With the support of our donors in Australia and New Zealand, we have invested heavily in the development intervention, including software activities such as capacity building, sensitization and other behaviour change interventions. Hardware developmental activities in infrastructure development in Water and Sanitation, schools and health facilities," he said. "with these investments, children in Mporokoso district have the tools and conducive environment to flourishment and attainment their full potential."
And World Vision Australia Field Experience Manager Gabrielle Hazen said the development attained in the Area Programme would not have been possible without the full support of the Zambian government, Traditional leaders, and members of the community.
“We are so thankful to have partnered with you in the last 15 years, and we love the partnership with the Zambian people. We believe you will continue to grow from strength to strength,” said Ms. Hazen. “We are grateful to the government for their support, the traditional leadership love and support have shown to us during our time here, and most importantly, the children and their children.”
Also speaking during the celebratory event, His Royal Highness Chief Muporokoso thanked World Vision for transforming the lives of his people.
"Our lives have changed completely. Before World Vision came to our aid, we had several challenges as a community, and the major one was the lack of water. Today, we have clean tap water in our communities, improved Livelihoods, literacy levels, and child protection systems," said the Traditional Leader.
Meanwhile, the guest of honour, Mporokoso Acting District Commissioner Patrick Chewe, assured World Vision that his administration working with the communities, will continue to protect the infrastructure and other investments made in the last 15 years.
I wish to emphasize that the partnership between World Vision and various government departments in Mporokoso district has greatly contributed to sustainable development in our communities that we can today attest to, even as they transition out of the district,” he said. “World Vision and its donors have not only developed our infrastructure but they have also imparted knowledge through various skills training, which we will use to ensure the sustainability of the life changing investments in our district.
Key developmental interventions implemented in the last 15 years
To ensure that children and their families live life in all its fullness, World Vision in Zambia implemented and achieved the following in Mporokoso district;
- Construction of a Health Post and staff house and installation of an incinerator in Kambobe zone.
- Contribution towards setting up a birth certificate production and issuance Centre for Northern Province, which has helped produce over 3,500 birth certificates for boys and girls from Mporokoso AP.
- Trained and mentored over 1,000 Smallholder farmers in various new, improved agricultural technologies, vain chain development and linking them to markets.
- Constructed 8 Ventilated Improved Latrines (VIP) at Lupungu, Muchele and Njalamimba primary schools, benefiting 1,247 pupils.
- Drilling/rehabilitation and equipping (hand pumps) of 25 boreholes benefiting over 6,100 community members.
- Further, the programme installed two piped water systems at Lupungu and Chishamwamba, which has helped supply clean and safe water to the two schools, the community and a clinic at Chishamwamba. This water system has benefited more than 10,020 people, including boys and girls.
- Supported the formation of 141 Savings groups with over 2,115 community members having access to essential income.
- Provision of school desks and assorted literacy materials in schools
- Supported formation and registration of 26 consumer-producer groups who are now bulking, on average, an annual bean harvest of 450 metric tons.
- And lastly, WVZ Mporokoso supported the establishment of a district child protection referral pathway in order to strengthen the protective environment of the child.
Notable impact of the above interventions
- There is notable reduction in diarrhoea cases in under five children as the proportion of children aged 0-59 months with diarrheal decreased to 13.8% (Evaluation report, 2021), compared to 26.1% recorded at baseline in 2006.
- There was a decrease in the proportion of under five children who were reported to have had Malaria two weeks prior to the survey, from 17.7% to 14.3% (Evaluation report, 2021).
- Increased knowledge and life skills as the proportion of adolescents with comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS increased by 14.6%, from 17.2% to 31.8% (Mporokoso AP Evaluation report, 2021).
- Increased access to safe and clean water as the proportion of households with sufficient access to clean and safe drinking water increased by 20.1%, from 32% to 52.1% (Mporokoso AP Evaluation report, 2021). On sanitation, the proportion of households using improved sanitation facilities increased to 16.3% (Evaluation report, 2021) compared to 3% recorded at baseline in 2008
- Further, significant positive behaviour was observed as seen in the 58.2% increase in the proportion of parents and caregivers practising appropriate handwashing behaviours, from 19.7% to 77.9% at the Endline (Evaluation report, 2021)
- In the area of economic livelihood and resilience, household income increased increased by 8% from 21% to 29.5%. This has resulted in a decline in the proportion of households living below the national poverty line from 80.1% to 70.8% (evaluation report, 2021).
- The nutrition levels of the children also improved greatly as seen in the decrease in stunting rates from 58.6% (baseline report, 2008) to 45.8% (Evaluation report, 2021).