Work on Sachibondu Hospital Resumes
Last year we spent six months in Zambia's Northwest Province, just a few miles from the Democratic Republic of Congo border, starting work on a new First-Level Hospital in place of the old Sachibondu Rural Health Centre. Work was paused at the end of October 2016 as the long and heavy wet season set in. With the rains now passed, the Orkidstudio team returned at the end of April to resume work with the aim of completing work by September.
Since returning, the project team has consisted of around 80 men and women from surrounding areas brining our total employment numbers over the past year to 181 persons. We anticipate a rise in this team size to 120 site workers as we start the construction of the roof in the next week or so. In keeping with our focus on educational impact through the construction process and our advocacy for women in construction, we are delighted to have found that 74% of our team found employment during the wet season and 19% of those who had no previous building experience managed to secure work within the construction sector. Of our total team, 45% are currently women and we have been excited to promote 7 women to key leadership roles on site, across masonry, concrete-mixing, carpentry and landscaping.
These figures are extracted from our Project Impact Report, detailing our impact across our first year at Sachibondu. To read the full report, please download here.
On site, we are nearing completion of the reinforced concrete ringbeams which will support large vaulted brick roofs and have been undertaking extensive landscaping work, as we begin to shape the natural environment around the Hospital. A key driver behind the design of the new Hospital has been a focus on healing environments, both inside and out. Internal spaces have been carefully designed to meet optimum ventilation flows and air change rates, daylight levels and comfortable temperatures year-round. Patients and staff are regularly connected through large window openings to the beautiful surrounding jungle woodland and inner courtyards throughout the hospital have been designed to integrate local indigenous flowers, plants and trees. Final planting will be carried out later, after the major construction works are complete and the land graded for storm-water management and ease of access around the building.
We would like to thank all of our generous supporters of this project, both during the first phase of works last year and more recent funders this year. Special thanks to: The Robert Barr Foundation, Drum Property Group, EDF Energy, Jestico+Whiles, Juan Alvarez-Guerra, Jylag Foundation, The Kuenssberg Foundation, Lee Wakemans, MB Broadcasting, Morris & Spottiswood, PG Paper, The Vardy Foundation, WEIR Group Plc, and the Yacoubian Family.
Full details of the project, including funding targets and our goals over the next 2 years can be found here.