Chalokwa Implementation – Day 7
After a intensive week of work in Chalokwa, we have finally driven the bumpy dirt road to the village for the last time. The grand opening of the energy kiosk went on for most of the day today, with speeches from the teachers, demonstrations of the products, dances by the community – and, of course, music and a PA system powered by the kiosk. A huge meal was prepared and many of our team had the chance to try nshima and goat for the first time. Henry made his first trip to the site today, and took the opportunity to make some last minute fixes to the wiring system. After a few group photos and saying our goodbyes to the community, we had to leave Chalokwa – although this time, we left a functional kiosk and an engaged and excited community.
With the project work completed, we had an opportunity tonight to sit together as a group and reflect on the significance of completing the project, not just for the community of Chalokwa but also for ourselves as humanitarian engineers. We can all recognize how rare it is to be present when a rural village receives electricity for the first time, and the connection we have made with the community will last for a long time. It is important to perpetuate what we have learned about Chalokwa into our future projects so that, just like the community we have been so involved with the last week, we can also continue to develop.