1. Ablution Blocks
The dramatic increase of pupils attending boarding school from 1,000 to 1,500 made it necessary to extend the ablution blocks: two at the girls’ and two at the boys’ dormitories. A plan, shown below, was submitted to the Rural Counsel. Each block will contain 14 toilets and 10 showers. Hamstern Construction Limited will build the blocks, starting with the girls’ side. It includes a terracotta floor which is easier to clean and an outdoor wash provision on one side of the ablution block. Christopher Mukuwa junior will make the window and door frames and the roof construction.
I am happy to have found Brian Chilala, the local garage keeper, to supervise the work.
2. The renovation of the sewerage and the pipes
The sewerage has not once been maintained since the opening of the school in 1966. It was Christopher Mukuwa who brought this to our attention. The area is totally overgrown with grass, reeds, bushes and trees and the concrete has big cracks. An expert of the Southern Water and Sewerage Company from Choma has visited the area and will make recommendations.
The surroundings of the sewerage were cleared by the Namwala prisoners in order to get a better overview of the state of the ponds.
Pupils are still carrying furniture when they change classrooms. At Christopher Mukuwa’s house there are 206 unfinished desks. 25 desks were finished during my stay in Namwala. The rest should be ready within the next few weeks.
There are about 140 desk frames waiting to be repaired in the workshops of the school. Christopher Mukuwa junior will do this work. Namwalafriends will remunerate him for his work.
Woodwork teacher Harrison Matinkuluga continues to repair the 100 tables for the dining hall. Additionally, he will repair 46 broken chairs and 12 stools which are stored in the workshops.
Teacher Kebby Malambo has extended the orchard with another 1500 m² for 250 banana plants as planned by Christopher Mukuwa. He also planted additional paw paw trees. In total, the orchard now accounts foralmost 1 ha. of land. The recently constructed second watering pond will soon be connected to the water supply.
5. Computer lab and library
A few years ago the library was turned into two classrooms due to a shortage of classrooms. In the meantime, the school has enough rooms and the library will be relocated to another room which is still to be furnished. A second computer lab was needed in addition, and is now under construction. Namwalafriends financed the new ceilings of both the second computer lab and the library.
6. Mathematics Workshop
Due to the diesel shortage in the country I had to limit my driving in the district and had to therefore cancel the workshops at Secondary Schools in Kasenga and Niko. Because of the rainy season the roads to the two Secondary Schools in Itezhi Tezhi were impassable.
As a result, it was only possible for me to visit the day school in Namwala Central. This school is in an unfortunate situation. They not only have no textbooks, but in addition, a bad storm last year blew off the rooves of 4 classrooms.
The teaching situation for mathematics at the Namwala Secondary School has improved since almost all pupils now have a textbook.
In Monze I visited Elizabeth Colson, emerita
professor of the Berkeley University, California
USA. She is an international known ethnologist
who did a lot of research in the Southern Province
Next year she celebrates her 100th birthday and is
still a very sought-after person on African
I left a few publications on Ila culture at the Choma Museum which I brought with me from Switzerland.
In Baambwe I discussed my photobook Namwala 1937 with Chief Mukobela and he added a lot of comments. Together with a few older people of his village we went to search for the old site of Baambwe. We found remains of the foundation of the former chief’s house. It was a very exciting afternoon for all participants.
Jeff Kaande of Itezhi Tezhi plans a meeting of the District Commissioners of district Mumbwa, Itezhi Tezhi and Namwala in June, in order to discuss the founding of an Ila Museum. I gave him the same Ila publications that I left at the Choma Museum.
Finally, a few pictures
– Johannes van der Weijden