Zambia: Our work during COVID-19

Ethiopia COVID-19
Written by Ashley Anderson, published on April 16, 2020 Sign up for eNews

Updates from our country manager, Patson Tembo

As part of our emergency response in Zambia:

  • 308 community health workers were trained
  • 2,095 hygiene kits were distributed
  • 13,553 individuals received health education
  • 22,000 health education materials were distributed
  • 500 hand washing vessels were distributed
  • 145 boreholes were rehabilitated

May 25, 2020

Our total impact to date as of May 25th, 2020 

  • 2,095 hygiene kits have been distributed to vulnerable and marginalized families.
  • 500 hand washing vessels have been distributed to strategic locations.
  • 13,553 individuals have been reached through health education.
  • 308 community health workers have been trained on COVID-19 detection and prevention measures.
  • 145 boreholes have been rehabilitated, giving 35,000 people access to clean water.
  • 145 WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) committees have been formed and the members have been trained.
Women fetch water from a recently rehabilitated borehole in Zambia

May 15, 2020

Updates from the week ending May 15th, 2020 

  • Eight boreholes have been successfully rehabilitated, bringing the total number of rehabilitated boreholes up to 78.
  • 88 community health workers were trained, bringing the total up to 183.
  • 22 village WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) committees have been formed, bringing the total up to 78, one for each rehabilitated borehole.

May 8, 2020

Updates from the week ending May 8th, 2020 

  • 70 boreholes have been successfully rehabilitated.
  • 95 community health workers have been trained.
  • 56 village WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) committees have been formed.

May 1, 2020

Updates from the week ending May 1st, 2020  

  • 51 community health workers have been trained.
  • Safety materials and hand washing units have been delivered to all three districts.
  • Distribution of information, education and communication materials to beneficiary communities is complete.
  • 16 dysfunctional boreholes have been rehabilitated.
  • 15 WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) committees have been formed and have completed training.
A dysfunctional borehole is repaired in Zambia’s Sinazongwe District
A mother uses an Operation Eyesight hand washing station and soap to clean her hands.

April 24, 2020

Updates from the week ending April 24th, 2020 

  • All pre-implementation work has been completed and is ready to be launched in the coming week.
  • We are still working to secure all supplies and personal safety equipment.
  • We have evaluated over 40 boreholes in the Sinazongwe and Kapiro Mposhi districts to determine what materials are needed for their repair. We are now procuring new handpumps for the boreholes and other required equipment.

In addressing COVID-19, we focused on addressing the less privileged; those who don’t have access to information from radio or television programming. We are talking about real and important issues – such as how people can improve their hygiene and protect themselves from the virus by practicing regular handwashing with clean water and soap. We are committed to ensuring no one is left behind.”

– Patson Tembo

April 17, 2020

Updates from the week ending April 17th, 2020 

  • We identified the 60 boreholes in need of rehabilitation and have finalized their locations in all three districts: Kapiri Mposhi, Luano and Sinazongwe. Representatives to lead the implementation have been finalized.
  • Evaluations have begun for all 60 boreholes, and we are identifying what repairs are required.
  • Selected 10 health staff and 180 community health workers to be trained.
  • We have finalized the schools that would benefit the most from hand washing stations to be installed.
  • We have started to procure materials for hand washing units and safety materials for our community health workers and project team members.
  • An online training session was conducted with all our implementation partners for our COVID-19 response projects.

April 10, 2020

All schools have been closed, and public gatherings such as religious services have been restricted.

Our goal in Zambia is to empower communities to respond to COVID-19 by facilitating the rehabilitation of dysfunctional boreholes and providing health education to communities.

Working with district councils, and with donor funding support, our goal is to rehabilitate 60 dysfunctional boreholes to provide access to clean water and sanitation opportunities for 18,000 people. As part of these rehabilitation projects, we will create WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Committees and train the members to adopt appropriate hand washing and social distancing practices critical for the prevention of COVID-19. Training WASH Committee members empowers individuals and communities to take ownership of their health and become ambassadors of WASH for their families and communities.

We will provide training for community health workers so that they can educate their communities about COVID-19. This training will cover topics such as early detection of symptoms, proper techniques for hand washing, and what to do if you or a family member starts displaying signs of COVID-19. By mid-May, we plan to have 180 community health workers and project staff trained to address COVID-19. Project staff will distribute 1,000 hygiene kits to marginalized families.

To ensure the safety of our staff and our community health workers, we are working to procure safety materials such as disposable masks, gloves and hand sanitizers.

Activities related to avoidable blindness:

To reduce the volume to traffic to local hospitals, all non-emergency eye surgeries have been put on hold. Door to door screening programs have also been put on hold.

Learn more about our response to COVID-19 and how you can help here.