Namwala is about 60 km from Itezhi-Tezhi. During the dry season we travel by gravel road and cross the Kafue River on a small pontoon / ferry to reach Namwala. However, it is rainy season with some roads completely flooded and the pontoon does not even operate. The only way to reach Namwala by road would be to travel 6 hrs to Lusaka, then another 8 to 9 hours to Namwala via Choma (14-15 hours total!). Instead, we opted to travel about 75 km by river on a speedboat to visit revolving fund beneficiaries George Mwenda and Davvy Tapalu – taking just 2 hours, it was quite an exciting option!
George used his funds to establish a business sourcing wood from the government forests, getting the logs cut into planks at a local saw mill, and then transporting them to Lusaka for sale. He hopes to get a chain saw to reduce his costs of sourcing the wood. Davvy and his wife Ave used their funds to boost their business in the local market selling clothes. We are very excited for their prosperity, which has meant that their loan is almost paid back! Not only is their family benefitting, but they are also using profits to build a brick church around their existing traditional structure.
The trip back by river was beautiful with Jako, our captain for the day, pointing out many beautiful birds to us. We also had a very rare sighting from a safe distance: a puff adder (snake) swimming in the river!
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