I have an affinity for the continent of Africa and have traveled there on seven different occasions. It is important to me that we help the continent that has enabled the development of the world. The money, time, and support we give to other nations helps our own country.
In the spring of 2013, the Los Angeles-Lusaka Sister City Committee’s Women’s Entrepreneur Program, Clean Water Project, was completed thanks in part to the Pepperdine Waves of Service Award. Project director Lidia Mongerie-Brown spent three months in Lusaka, Zambia, completing the task of providing clean water to three villages.
The project set the stage for three small-scale and fairly sustainable developments in Lusaka and surrounding communities where there are intensified pockets of underdevelopment, specifically related to a lack of clean water. Environmental considerations included water- and waste-treatment measures, disease reduction, and better management of water resources to reduce the transmission of malaria and other vector-borne diseases.
Lidia worked with the president of Zambia, Michael Sata, and with Zambian minister of housing and local government John Kafuna, to engage experts with a working knowledge of water and waste systems, treatment processes and mechanics to oversee the installations. Thanks to President Sata’s support, 500 families now have access to clean water.
We are grateful to everyone who contributed to this project. The installation, transportation, lodging, and per diem funds were provided by members of the Los Angeles-Lusaka Sister City Committee, Sister Cities of Los Angeles, and SoCal Sister Cities, International, Inc. The support we received from Pepperdine University was also pivotal to our success.
Summary of our achievements:
- The sewage dump in Chaisa Compound was cleaned and closed down. No one is collecting gutter water from the site any longer and clean water is now accessible. Water cards have also been distributed to ensure equal access.
- Faucets are now in several homes where for the first time, families will have immediate access to clean water.
- The two water units purchased with funds from the Pepperdine Waves of Service Award are now at work in the villages of Kawama and Kanswa. With proper maintenance and supervision, the villages will see an increase in overall health quality, and a decrease in disease.
Thomas-Robertson, alumna of the Doctor of Education in Institutional Management program, serves as president of the Los Angeles-Lusaka Sister City Committee. Sister Cities of Los Angeles Inc. is a private nonprofit organization devoted to people to people exchange between L.A.’s city government and the city governments of the sister cities. She is also a board member and treasurer for SoCal Sister Cities International, Inc. and a member of the GSEP Board of Visitors.