I have been down here in Zambia the last few months doing practical training for Global Dry Toilets of Finland. It has been a great and unique experience. I have had the opportunity to learn many different things, and also received good hands on experience, all while meeting lots a new people.
Zambia has loads of poverty stricken areas, which is mostly where all of my work is taking place. Global Dry Toilets of Finland (GDTF) supplies dry composting toilets to the peri-urban areas in three different locations here in Zambia. These dry toilets are being used to help prevent contamination of the local water bodies, along with providing fertilizer from the waste being produced. Along with building toilets, GDTF also is supplying water kiosks within the compounds and trying to promote the importance of sanitation and hygiene.
My work consisted of walking around the compounds asking a questionnaire to the local community people to gather a sense of how well the idea of sanitation and hygiene, as well as the use of dry toilets, is spreading throughout the people. It has been a good way to see first hand how the local people live on a daily basis. It has been a humbling experience to say the least.
I have had quite a bit of a culture shock since I’ve been down here. The way of life is completely different to the western world. There are power outages everyday lasting anywhere from 6 to 8 hours. This is due to the lack of water supplying their hydro power plants. There is also a lack of waste management everywhere, which means that trash is all over the place. It’s hard to get use to dealing with all the pollution.
Besides all that, Zambia has been a great experience and I recommend doing this trip to anyone. It will get you out of your comfort zone, but its a very rewarding experience.