Baseline Study: Kaombe Village, Central Province – FARM STEW & Wilderness Gate

Jan 5, 2024 | Reports

Introduction

This village is located 11 hours away on foot from Kabansa Village to the East, passing through a mountainous area in a valley alongside the Kaombe River. In September 2023, this village participated in the Kabansa Farm Stew and Medical Mission. Following this, they expressed a desire for their area to be visited with the intention of establishing a Farm Stew community. This area comprises 7 sections, each containing 10 communities, with a total population exceeding 3500 and over 500 households.

Farming: The primary crops grown include sorghum, maize, rice, and tobacco. Beans and groundnuts are grown by only a few individuals, and gardening is not practiced.

Attitude: The community exhibits a prevalence of heavy drinking and a strong belief in spiritualism, often associated with witchcraft, leading to generally negative attitudes.

Rest: Residents, including men, women, and boys, endure long journeys carrying heavy loads for sale. Mothers lack adequate rest due to the absence of health facilities providing family life education and services. Birth control is not understood, resulting in large families.

Meals: The diet is notably poor, with limited crop variety. Malnutrition is prevalent among children and mothers, with many individuals typically having only one meal per day.

Sanitation: Proper toilets, hand washing facilities, and plate racks are lacking in some households, contributing to unhygienic surroundings.

Temperance: Alcohol and tobacco use are widespread, alongside drug abuse, high levels of sexual immorality, and early marriages.

Enterprise: The primary forms of commerce include alcohol brewing, reed mat sales, and tobacco sales. Only one small shop operates in the two sections, primarily vending tobacco, but it is rarely open.

Water: Residents draw water from the contaminated Kaombe River, resulting in frequent waterborne diseases. Additionally, crocodiles inhabit the river.

Religion: No established religious presence exists, though there are a few Christian believers and a fledgling Baptist presence, along with a small number of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but no formal church structure.

Planned Mission For 2024 Q2 (After the rains):

  1. Training sessions for prospective volunteers, with a target of at least 5 individuals.
  2. Establishment and training of Farm Stew communities in each section, facilitated by Section headmen. Comprehensive training sessions spanning 2-3 weeks are required in this location to effect a holistic lifestyle change, aiming to establish a core, resilient Farm Stew community that can serve as a model for the rest. Given the similarity of situations in remote areas within this large Chiefdom, a uniform approach is essential.
  3. The only road access from Chief Chisomo is in poor condition, necessitating a challenging 55 km+ hike through rugged terrain from Kabansa, where a Farm Stew Community is already established.
  4. In addition to establishing kitchen gardens, provision of seeds for soybeans and other crops is necessary, with an emphasis on cultivating enough for local consumption.

Wilderness Gate and FARM STEW are making steady progress in empowering and uplifting these remote communities in Zambia. If you’d like to join in the efforts, consider making a contribution to our work. All donations are fed directly into our projects and are essential in reaching and empowering the communities we serve.

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