Zambia News January 2024

Dear friends,

Since the beginning of the year there has been cholera again in some larger cities. This is nothing new, it occurs almost every rainy season. But this year the government postponed the start of the school year from January 7th to the 29th. Since most of our students were here in December to look after their gardens and our classes started on January 3rd, the agricultural school is not affected, but the elementary school is. This measure is understandable for secondary schools and colleges because students from larger cities could spread throughout the country and thus spread cholera. But the rural primary schools have children from a radius of about 10 km. So the children at Good Hope Basic School once again have less lessons than they should have.

Well drilling

We were supposed to have drilled for water back in November, but unfortunately the drilling company is so busy with a major government order that they haven’t made it to us yet. Since we’ve only received about half as much rain as last rainy season, I assume the ground isn’t so waterlogged yet that it would interfere with finding a productive well.


As usual, we have had some severe thunderstorms over the last four weeks. Shortly before Christmas we installed a new pump in the primary school fountain after the previous one no longer worked after over 12 years. The new pump lasted three days before lightning destroyed it. We’ve been looking for a new pump for almost four weeks now.
Finally a new pump arrived from Lusaka yesterday.

Agricultural school

Classes began again on January 3rd with 16 new and 20 returning students. Some of the new students have only 9 years of school, come from a remote area in the Zambezi Valley, cannot speak English, speak Tonga but cannot copy anything from the blackboard. This is quite a challenge for our teachers. But we agree that we can also teach these young people enough that they don’t need to beg in the future, but can instead provide for themselves and their families. In such cases, nothing can be done with a written exam, but we have to take the time to ask them verbally what they have learned. Calculating is a particular challenge. Our course “Math for Farmers” covers very simple arithmetic, how big is a field, how do I write down my expenses and income, how much seed do I need, etc. The majority of students have 12 years of school behind them have their problems. A former student who advises small farmers who grow coffee told me that the most important thing he learned here was arithmetic. When he advises his farmers and they cannot tell him how much fertilizer they have used, how many kg they have harvested, etc., he practically cannot advise them on how they can do something better. (I get the impression from the news that many students in Germany also have problems with simple arithmetic)

For today we send warm greetings again,
your Klaus and Christiane

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