New community center in Zambia

It’s hard to share stories without means. That’s why Kambisa! is building a self-sustaining community centre in Chilonga, central Zambia. We have realised a solar powered borehole securing our water supply, built a transformer house and cleared a place a class room, a tree nursery and a workshop space. The community centre will be located in a forest garden, and facilitate the reception of foreign students and tourists. Doing so, the centre should allow its users to exchange knowledge, contribute to the local economy and protect the surrounding miombo forest.  

Builders, carpenters, agro-foresters, pupils of surrounding schools and arts and media students will be able to initiate their projects whilst the rest of the facilities are being created. Throughout the process, regular meetings will take place with the surrounding community, local authorities and Dutch counterparts to ensure their involvement in the decision making process.

Read the interviews with our project leader Desh (Dutch only, sorry)
or our august 2018 update!

As part of this project we have constructed a borehole at Kambisa! Community Centre Chilonga, to provide for easy access to safe and clean water. Currently, the water supply system stems from a spring on the mountains. This source is contested and the connected pipelines frequently break down, resulting in serious water shortages and contamination. The construction of a new borehole aims to reduce the dependency for the centre and its neighbours, and take some pressure of the existing water infrastructure.

In addition, we hope to add a classroom and a workshop area that will facilitate the workshops and classes that will be given in and around the community centre in the years to come. You can read more about in our project plan.

 

 

WHAT: facilities for Kambisa! and partners, including:

Phase 1:
– workshop area for carpentry, eco-friendly construction and water/energy/resource-saving techniques (brick laying training on the job)
– class room for about 25 students, doubling as performance space (semi- open, covered area with storage rooms)
– gardens (agroforestry), incl. nursery, composting, swales

Phase 2:
– facilities for adjoining eco-camp site in an orchard, incl. 3 selfcontained huts, kitchen, showers & toilets
– facilities for regional heritage center (library, research facilities)
– recording studios for audio & video productions
– business centre (computers & printing facilities)
– shop for Kambisa! supported items (local handicrafts, bio-based and recycled products)
– restaurant & kitchen

 

WHO: Kambisa!BeHeard.
in cooperation with institutes and businesses in the field of media, environmental services,
education, sustainable building & tourism; local authorities & interested individuals

Are you interested in becoming a partner? Please contact us!

WHERE: Chilonga, Mpika, Zambia

– reachable by public transport (train, road)
– safe enough to cater for foreign students & backpackers (fenced)
– source of water & electricity on the premises

WHEN 2017 – 2023

WHY the Community Centre should help
– create a local sustainable base for the training and facilities which are currently only
available during the presence of Dutch counterparts
– make Kambisa! Zambia economically independent
– attract new attention from potential national & international counterparts
– provide a model showing how local knowledge and traditions can be appreciated in a
socially, economically & ecologically sustainable way.

Ideally, the community centre would be able to operate as a self-sustaining unit, and illustrate how to use traditional practises to the benefit of contemporary needs like environmental conservation (forest preservation), social cohesion in urban settings and the emancipation of underrepresented groups, incl. women (see: Umwinko concept)

HOW: 

In 2017, local participants and authorities were consulted and a plot was acquired. A small house was built, which can help cater for future activities. Early 2018, the roof was put in place. As it had become clear by then, the transport of water made the building process rather expensive, we decided to raise funds for a borehole before we continued the construction process. Late 2018, we hope to install the borehole and start realising the classroom, workshop and garden. As the borehole will be used by many members of the Chilonga community, it will also help generate engagement with future activities.

sharing knowledge 
Throughout this process, Dutch students/professionals in the field of tourism, agroforestry, carpentry and ecological building will be invited to come to Zambia. They will see how buildings are traditionally built by different Zambian communities, and how local forests are used for the collection of valuable foods like fruits, herbs, insects and mushrooms. In consultation with our local experts, they will advise Kambisa! how to implement sustainable self-reliant ways of building, and how much this will cost in terms of material, money and labour using locally available resources. Sponsors will be informed and educational plans will be set up in order to involve unemployed people in the construction processes.

becoming self-reliant
As soon as the workshop and classroom are done, and the research results from the tourism study are in, we hope to expand the community centre with a number of facilities that can help the centre to become economically independent, including:
– eco-camp site in an orchard, incl. 3 selfcontained huts, kitchen, showers & toilets
– regional heritage center (library, research facilities)
– recording studios for audio & video productions
– business centre (computers & printing facilities)
– shop for Kambisa! supported items (local handicrafts, bio-based and recycled products)
– restaurant & kitchen

 


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