Covid-19 restricted our training programmes, but risks have reduced and we are allowed to train again. Just in time for the Jacana SMART Centre in Petauke to kick-off.
Over the past two months, a lot of hard work has gone into providing the office in Petauke (which is completely off-grid) with solar energy, water, a coat of paint and a workshop for the technical training. The solar installation and the borehole were both constructed by small-scale entrepreneurs, trained and guided in Chipata before. The Dutch volunteers, Janke and Menno Jan, have worked hard to get the office ready on time. Unfortunately we parted ways.
Workshop building in progress
Douglas Mudenda is the new manager of Jacana SMART Centre in Petauke. Douglas Mundenda made his own rope pumps in 2017 only using the manual and is very passionate about Simple Market based and Repairable Technologies (SMART). Douglas is assisted by agro expert Stephen Lungu who knows the smallest settlements and streets in Petauke district like no other.
More than 60 people have shown interested to be trained as a water entrepreneur in our program. A selection has been made and everyone has been trained in business skills.
The selected entrepreneurs visited an existing customer and their future colleague drillers and welders in Chipata to experience what a Jacana SMART Center program exactly entails. The visitors asked intelligent questions and learned practical and organizational things that are often not covered in training.
Visit at existing customer
Visit at Chipata drilling site
After everybody is on the same page, technical training start:
Borehole siters were trained in finding the most suitable place to drill boreholes and learned how to make the “Vertical Electrical Sounding” (VES) equipment. They have made 5 devices including the device that they will use in Petauke. The other devices are now being used in southern Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania (all trained by Jacana SMART Centre as well).
Borehole siting theory (in Chipata)
Making VES equipment
The welders have also started their technical training in Petauke. The solar installation is performing beyond expectations, we can weld and grind with it. The welders will initially learn how to make the borehole drilling equipment and then (after two weeks) learn how the rope pump is made. In two weeks, the drillers will also be trained in drilling boreholes and installing pumps.
Welder training (new Jacana SMART Centre in Petauke)
We again have an enthusiastic group of entrepreneurs who will mean a lot to other Zambians, because whether or not water makes a world of difference.