The River Club was the first tourism operator in the area to use donations from their guests to fund infrastructure in the local Simonga Village. Anyone visiting The River Club is able to tour Simonga Village where they can see the work that has been undertaken over the past 14 years.
The River Club has assisted in the building and maintenance of the primary school where 400 local school children attend classes. We visited and met with deputy headmistress, Rose, who showed me the latest improvement which is a ceiling installed in one of the classrooms. The other classrooms are due to receive their new ceilings soon too.
A detailed network of trenches has been dug to lay piping to connect households to water tanks that are currently supplied by a diesel pump. For efficiency and to reduce the costs associated with the diesel pump, the whole system is to be converted to an electrical pump and The River Club has managed to secure enough funding to put everything in place to have the pump connected to electricity. The community is now awaiting Zambian Electrical Supply Company to connect the electrics to the main supply.
In the meantime, there are seven water tanks that supply the 3,000 people living in this tranquil community. The two regular hand pumps that link directly to the borehole complement this water supply. The connection of water to individual households has made a significant difference to their quality of life.
Guests at The River Club have also donated funds which have contributed to the building and upkeep of a clinic which has a nurse and medical supplies provided by the government. There is also the very smart Simonga Village Police Post which looks most impressive in its beautiful blue and white colours. And finally, the classrooms for the kindergarten children were built in 2009 and are still maintained through generous donations by guests who have stayed at The River Club.
Photos © Mike Myers