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Luapula Programme Area

Area:50,567 sq km
Population: 958,976
Districts: Chembe, Chiengi, Kawambwa, Mansa, Milenge, Mwense, Nchlenge, Samfya
Sponsored children: 7,114

Luapula area, is inhabited by the Ushi people who migrated from the Democratic Republic of Congo in search of fertile land.  It is one of the poorest areas of Zambia with few health facilities, schools, and trained teachers.

The Ushi are small-scale farmers who grow cassava, which is the staple food, groundnuts, maize and sweet potatoes. They also earn a living from fishing.

Plan Zambia started working in the area in 2005 and community members are very eager to achieve the development plans they made following participatory rural appraisals conducted in each community.

Programme highlights

Community-led total sanitation

Community-led total sanitation is an approach to improving sanitation practices with the involvement of community members. This is done by creating a sense of disgust and shame on open defecation practices that cause disease.

Community members participate in a mapping exercise to identify areas where they defecate, how this leads to diseases, and how diseases can be prevented. This leads to improved hygiene practices.

Plan has trained district staff, traditional chiefs and community health workers to raise awareness of open defecation.  The result has been  a reduction in diseases, including diarrhoea and worm infections.

Water points have also been constructed to increase access to safe water.  For children, the reduced walking distances means having more time to go to school, particularly for girls who traditionally fetch water.

Ending child marriage

Plan works with traditional leaders in ending child abuse, including child marriages. Plan has supported the creation of community-based child protection structures to enhance access to legal services for both children and parents.

To improve response to abuse cases, the child protection structures are linked directly to the Victim Support Unit within the Zambia Police Service. Plan has also created foras for children, which allow them to participate in events that focus on issues affecting them.

Girls economic empowerment project

The girls economic empowerment project is being implemented in Luapula province to improve the socio-economic status of girls. It supports the development of policies that protect girls and increases support from traditional leaders on issues affecting girls.

The project provides vocational skills training and mentorship.

“We are experiencing real development in our area and are very proud and happy.  We are glad to have Plan help us achieve our dreams,” said Kapelembe.

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