When they say Zambian time they really mean Zambian time.
So I started a new personal project to help out my organisation TWIP. This project is to get electricity installed in the building. The building is made of cement with no glass windows (only bars as a security system) and is located in the middle of a field surrounded by residential homes nearby. In the building, TWIP rents out a space for their office and another room to hold life skills sessions, focus group discussions and health talks (mostly for the rainy season, otherwise we hold out group discussions outside). Next to our office is a space rented out by a private school for children ages 2-13.
Sunrise is generally 6am and sunset is usually 6pm everyday. Not bad for us to rely on natural light for visibility and safety. So here’s the issue; I work with clients who are infected with HIV/AIDS and want to come up with new therapeutic programs and use of strategy sheets to help clients cope with their condition. I also am conducting HIV/AIDS and drug prevention workshops for other groups and want to set up new programming to engage this population in positive behaviours to lead healthy lives. In order to create these new programs during work hours on site, I need to use computers and other equipment TWIP has that require electricity. Sometimes creating new programming requires investment of time and staff at TWIP have expressed they want to work longer hours, however, there is no lighting installed inside or outside the building. As a result of this, visibility is limited and personal safety is at greater risk.
So the organisation TWIP has been asking the Kitwe City Council for 2 years to authorise the approval from the director to have an electrician come by to install electricity and we cannot just contract someone to come in to do the job because the building belongs to the city and we only rent out the space in the building. On June 12, I wrote a letter to the Kitwe City Council requesting for the approval and followed up with the status of the letter every other day to monitor how far the request had gone (which was no where). After about a week, I was finally able to get some answers with a little push and found out the process of where the letter is initially reviewed and who the letter is then forwarded too. The Site and Service department receives and reviews the letter who then forwards the letter to the Deputy Chief Health Inspector who collaborates with the Director of Engineering to make a decision the processes the request to the final Engineering department to fill out the required documentation for an electrician to be sent out to the building for installation. At this point, the Site and Service department forwarded my request to the Deputy Chief Health Inspector and the letter has been sitting in the office since mid-June. I was advised the request will be most likely approved within a week and am still waiting.
I have been visiting the council every other day to try and meet with the Deputy officer and am unable to reach him because he is never in his office. What’s frustrating is that we are told a decision would be made right away and our request has not been discussed in the meetings between the two most important people we need a decision made by. I have made this a priority to meet with the members of the council to make sure they know how passionate (in a good way) I am to have the electricity installed in the building before I come back to Canada!!! This is extremely important for me to accomplish for safety reasons and for what’s right for our clients and what’s right for TWIP.
Bye for now and I will keep everyone posted on my progress.