FOSTERING SUSTAINABLE CHIEFDOM DEVELOPMENT
Health, Water and Sanitation
Health care and good sanitation is an important and necessary part of any society. The true mark of a civilized society is how it tends to and looks after its most vulnerable members in order to remain productive. Health care is important for all, young and old, rich and poor. It is therefore important to make affordable health care available to all. However, people in the chiefdom face a lot of challenges in accessing health facilities due to the long distances they must cover. The chiefdom has four rural health centers (Chibwika, Chiwoma, Kamapanda and Kanzenzi), all of which are characterized by inadequate staffing and staff housing. The chiefdom has no hospital and only one health post. There are no midwives in the health centers, and our chiefdom is burdened with high rates of malnutrition and malaria, and low rates of family planning.
Although World Vision has been encouraging all households to construct toilets, we are still behind our goal of sanitation facilities for everyone. For example, there are only 15 toilets in Chikoka village for 25 households, meaning that some people either share toilets or use the bush. World Vision has also attempted to reduce the clean water deficit through drilling boreholes, but there is still a deficit: many households are forced to fetch water from shallow wells and streams where even animals drink from. In terms of HIV/AIDS, Chiwoma and Chibwika Rural Health Centers (RHCs) are the only health facilities in our chiefdom providing HIV testing and counseling (HTC), prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), and antiretroviral therapy (ART). While the two RHCs are not fully flagged ART facilities, a fraction of our population has benefitted from their being upgraded into ART outreach facilities for Mwinilunga District Hospital since 2008. Some of our people have been relieved from traveling for over 112km to and from the district hospital; instead, it is the blood samples and medicines that are transported over such long distances. However, many of our people still walk long distances, ranging from five to 40 kilometers to the two RHCs or to the district hospital to obtain antiretroviral therapy.