In order to be become a "Community School" in the eyes of the Zambian government we first need to become registered with the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS). We found our way to the offices today. Talked to a lady, I think she was the 'Secretary' herself. For my weekend reading pleasure I am now reading the Republic of Zambia's Operational Guidelines for Community Schools. They will come out and inspect the site and give us a report on what else we need to do. I have a feeling tables and chairs, or benches, will be a requirement.
So, doors should be in this weekend and the latrine should be functional as soon as the door is on it, with a lock, so the surrounding neighbors don't think it is a community latrine. Next, we will see what we can do about desks and chairs.
This is the latrine! It is basically a hugely deep hole in the ground, lined with cinder blocks, then covered with plastic and sheet metal with concrete poured around that to keep it in place. When the door and a sheet metal roof is on then the hole will be punched in it, and we will be good to go (pun intended).
"No.... I'm told, you do not sit down." And...."Don't worry, we are used to it!" Mary says while laughing at us! I am wondering.... "But, where will I go?!" It is very rudimentary, but it's what is necessary for now so that we can have students coming right away. There are water pipes drawn from the bore hole, and they are very close to the house already, but the cost of building the septic tanks are prohibitive right now. So we will all, yes.... even me, make do with a latrine for now! ( I do think I'll invest in a can of air freshener though!!)
Ken and Joy Hoffman. See the'Who We Are' page.