Contribution to Development
What does your project contribute to development?
The Multipurpose Centre is located in Chazanga. This informal settlement has to deal with a rapid population growth. Due to this rapid population growth houses are build close to each other and there is almost no space for shops, supermarkets and recreation. This results in long walking distances to the nearest shop. There is also a deficit of secondary schools in Chazanga that also results in long walking distances and a lot of teenager who won’t finish their education. Chazanga is also facing a major water shortage. There is no water supply network and the ground water level is really low. For this reason the multipurpose centre will also contain a water kiosk. PPHPZ wants to tackle these problems with the building of the Multipurpose Centre. This centre will be centrally located in Chazanga. The centre will simplify the lives of the inhabitants of Chazanga by reducing the traveling distance and providing access to services that was not available before. There will also be space for education, where tutoring is provided by part time teachers. There will also be space where workshops can be given. These workshops are meant for adults who want to learn different skills. In this way they are able to find a job easier. This will contribute to the development of the community.
Moreover, it will increase the entrepreneurial activities of the community, by offering small shops for low prices. The residents of the community can generate their income.
In advance the income generated with the Multipurpose Centre will be used to maintain the building and to support the community. In this way the Multipurpose Centre is also sustainable and is able to generate the building costs in almost eight years.
The residents in the informal settlements of Lusaka have a sanitation problem. Due to the water shortage, the bad waste management and the poverty it results self-made pit latrines and no bathing rooms. People go to the toilet by digging a hole and bath outside in a tub with no privacy. The Eco Wash is very affordable for the residents. All the materials are low-cost material and water will be harvested. So by developing the Eco Wash, the poor people have the opportunity to improve their sanitation. This is a contribution to their development.
The bigger result is that the improved sanitation will result in fewer diseases. Simple diseases as a result of bad sanitation will no longer be a problem.
The principle of the Eco Wash is to harvest water for bathing and washing. This is also a big advantage for the users. It will simplify the lives by reducing the traveling distance to water pumps and water kiosks. Another principle is to reuse faecal matter as fertilizer for agricultural purpose. Ground water won’t be polluted. Which is also an contribution to development.
The Eco Wash will also result in more work. There will be a higher demand for contractors and constructors, which will result in more economical activity. In addition, there will also be a higher demand for the building materials.
The Eco Wash creates a feeling of ownership. This feeling is created through a loan system. PPHPZ helps the residents with knowledge and financial support. However the financial support has to be paid back by mean of a loan. The residents will be more careful and willing to maintain the building. In this way it won’t be a project that will be neglected after a few weeks.
Have you dealt communicatively and tactically (but also effectively) with the cultural differences?
The most people of the Zambian population speak English. Communicatively this is a big advantage. It was easy to understand each other. Sometimes we had some difficulties, but then there was always a Zambian who could speak English, who helped us.
To make clear our idea for the Eco Wash for the constructors, we used images and impressions. Their English was not very good, so this was a good way to communicate.
When we were building the Eco Wash, we faced some problems. With the knowledge of the constructors and some discussions we solved this. The new ideas were even better.
For the design of the Multipurpose Centre, we designed and placed a billboard on the plot. This was our way to communicate to the local residents, so that they know that a Multipurpose Centre will be build. There was immediately a lot of attention for the billboard. This was a success.
What we found out that was very difficult is that we had to get used to the time in Zambia. It was normal to arrive two hours later then appointed. It was also possible to shift the appointment some days later, just before the appointment. However we tried to make clear agreements about times, in the hope that it would make sense. We tried this by calling often the people we had an appointment with.
Another difficult point that we found out is the fact that there is a strong hierarchy dominated by the organization PPHPZ. As a result, it is expected to listen to the boss. For us we are not use to this approach. Communication with the boss was important, we tried to do this as good as possible. We showed a lot of perseverance. Despite some disagreements, we could work well on our project. If there was a disagreement, we solved it by explaining our point.
The employers of PPHPZ work very sequential. They are working on a lot of projects at the same time. For us, this was not a big issue because we were focussed on our project. Sometimes, when we wanted to work together with an employer, it was difficult to make an appointment.
What is the contribution of the project to an effective business culture consisting of a justifiable mix of traditional and new values?
Below an explanation is given about the contribution of the project to an effective business culture based on different values.
The multipurpose centre contributes to an affective business culture by generating an income through the small shops, the supermarket, the offices and conference room. Creating income by renting out spaces is traditional.
The Multipurpose Centre will increase the entrepreneurial activities of the community, by offering small shops for low prices. The residents of the community can generate their own income.
The combination of the Eco Wash, which harvests water, and the Eco San, which doesn’t use water, is innovative. Moreover, the use of the Hydraform blocks is very innovative.
The Hydraform blocks, which are used for the Multipurpose Centre and the Eco Wash, are better for the environment. The traditional concrete blocks cause more damages to the environment.
The Eco Wash harvests water and use this for bathing. The Eco San part doesn’t use water. So this is a very sustainable way to use water. Also the faecal matter will be used for agricultural purpose.
The Eco Wash will improve the sanitation in the informal settlements. This improved sanitation will result in fewer diseases. Simple diseases as a result of bad sanitation will be solved.
The Eco Wash is designed for the poor people in informal settlements. That’s why it has to be affordable. The design is low-cost. The users can pay a monthly amount for more a less one year, this amount will be around 100 Zambian Kwacha (10 euro) each month.
The Multipurpose Centre creates the facilities for the residents of Chazanga, so that they don’t have the long travel distances. It satisfies their needs. The time to find the needs will be reduced, the efficiency will be higher, due to the Multipurpose Centre.
At the Multipurpose Centre, we created space for education. We think this is important to develop this area. People can educate and have better chances for a job.