Zengamina Hydro Electric Project, Zambezi Rapids, Zambia
Geoff Stark (NZ Treasury, October 2006)
In July Geoff Stark and his son Jonathan visited Zambia to catch up with friends, help out at Chitokoloki and Kalene Hospitals and visit the Zengamina Hydro Electric Project. This is a $3 million project that is being funded by donations. The project has taken two years with the first stage to be completed early in 2007. The whole community is behind the project with a real pride in what is being accomplished. Every effort has been made to make minimal environmental impact on the beautiful Zambezi rapids. The first phase will provide up to 750KVa to Kalene Hospital, four schools, a rural health clinic and farms and villages within 20 kilometres of the site.
The hydro plant was first proposed in 1964. In 2001 Dr Peter Gill a UK orthopaedic surgeon set up a trust to finance the project when he realised that without 24-hour electricity, the viability of a large rural hospital serving the people of Zambia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo was not sustainable. The wisdom of this has been born out by the escalating diesel costs required to run the hospital generator and the resurgence of interest in making Kalene once again into a teaching hospital for Zambian Enrolled nurses and for medical students. Dr John Woodfield and his family will join the staff at Kalene in April 2007. John is a New Zealand general surgeon with a keen interest in missions and teaching. His wife Rachel is a pharmacist and mother of three children.
At Chitololoki, a flow turbine is to be installed in the Zambezi River to provide power for Chitokoloki Hospital and four schools. Dr Winston and Roanne McEwan (of Linwood Christchurch) are presently working there short-term. Again 24-hour hydro-electricity will result in a huge saving in diesel fuel bills and vastly improve the care provided by this busy referral hospital.
Both projects are being developed by donation, with Brethren mission agencies in the UK and North America giving generously. The ongoing maintenance will be sustained by the electricity being sold at market rates. If you would like to donate to these projects please contact Global Connections in Mission.