The Maunga Community is located on the western border of the vulnerable Dambwa Forest Reserve in Zambia
They are located off on main transport routes, in a very remote area and currently, the nearest health centre is in Livingstone, roughly 20km away
With the opening of Thorntree River Lodge within the African Bush Camps portfolio in 2017, a partnership with the community began with a clear priority to better the access to health services for the community
Women will no longer have to travel long distances to give birth and community members seeking medical attention will be able to do so within their own community
The development of a Health Centre, in partnership with the community and local government, works towards Maunga realising value of tourism in their area and to see wildlife and nature as resources to protect and improve their own livelihoods
The rural community of Maunga is located on the Western border of the Dambwa Forest Reserve near Livingstone in Southern Zambia. The community derives its name from the local trees found in abundance around the area, called Maunga. The community comprises eight villages; lukuni A and B, Ikasaya, Chibuyu, Kasiya, Kaleya, Syanumbu A and B. All the villages are headed by their own headman and one senior, Chief Musolotwane, who monitors village affairs through each headman. The Primary School in the community was established in 1992, just 50 meters away a site, and an incomplete building had been identified to establish a Health Centre of the community. Currently the nearest health centre is in Livingstone, roughly 20km away. Family income levels in this area are low, so access to education and health facilities are extremely limited.
With the opening of Thorntree River Lodge within the African Bush Camps portfolio of authentic safari camps in 2017, a needs analysis process was undertaken and a partnership with the Maunga Community was established. It was clear that this community, due to their remote location off major transport routes, could greatly benefit from contributions that African Bush Camps Foundation could make to responsibly develop their community, right on the border of a vulnerable forest reserve in the area.
The African Bush Camps Foundation, through its long-standing experience in partnering with communities located in remote wildlife areas, is supporting the Maunga Community; sourcing and developing relevant skills, procuring resources as well as financing as a result of tourism being attracted to the area through Thorntree River Lodge.
An area of priority that was identified was to improve access to health care facilities, due to the community being located a distance from the hub of Livingstone in Zambia. Accessing healthcare facilities is a challenge for them, the construction of this Health Centre will greatly improve access to basic facilities and empower the community to care for its members.
In January 2019 the basic construction of the building was completed, to much jubilation from the community when African Bush Camps Foundation Board Members conducted a visit. The next steps are to complete the interior structures and furnishings to be able to hand the building over to the government for being able to stock and staff it to begin working as a fully functioning health centre.
In March/April 2019 a container filled with medical equipment, sources and financed by Australian based MedEarth, embarked on a journey across the oceans to equip the Health Centre building with medical equipment for the centre, including beds, examinations tables, blood pressure monitoring machines, stretchers, stethoscopes, thermometers, delivery beds, blankets, sheets, towels and more to help prepare the building to be handed over to the Zambian government for open as a fully-functioning facility. Read more here.
The community continued to contribute their energy, resources and time to prepare for the facility by clearing sites and collecting sand for the construction of an outpatient ablution for the clinic. In May 2019 all the preparation was further ratified by an important site visit at by Kazungula District Commissioner, Pascalina Musokotwane who was accompanied by the District Intelligence Officer. Among the delegates was Zambia Revenue Authority Manager. Purpose of the visit was to confirm that the African Bush Camps Foundation is working in partnership with the community and that activities are clearly not for profit. They also needed to see evidence of the constructed building to be used as a Health Centre.
The project will benefit the entire Maunga community which is made up of approximately 3,400 inhabitants who have to dedicate a substantial amount of their time and energy on travelling long distances to seek medical attention. With the availability of a clinic close by, the community can become healthier and more productive through prevention programs as there will be adequate prevention and healthy living awareness promotions. The project will allow the community to practice their true way of life as livestock and crop farmers and the school children would be easily and quickly attended to. The area is a malaria-prone area and more prevention and treatment initiatives can be introduced. Neighbouring villages will also make use of the availability of a clinic.
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|Painting and decoration||
|Construction of septic tank||
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