Just to the west of where Toka Leya is situated in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park lies the community of Sinde Village. We took a visit to the village to have a look at the new solar pump that Toka Leya had installed as part of the Wilderness Safaris sustainability philosophy that supports communities and conservation.
We travelled along the main road and then turned off right onto a dirt road that led us through the bush and the rural community lands of Sinde Village. Eventually, we arrived at a turnoff that directed us to Twabuka Primary School. As we arrived the first thing I noticed was a painted sign on the outside wall of the classroom block that outlined their mission and environmental policy, both of which committed the teachers and pupils to a better life where learning is facilitated in conjunction with preserving the environment. A good message for all visitors.
We met headmistress Daphin Mpindo and her deputy Paul Witi who gave us a tour. In July 2013, Toka Leya donated 1,000 trees to an organisation called Greenpop who ran an environmental awareness campaign in the rural communities of Livingstone. Twabuka Primary School was the recipient of 30 of these donated trees. Three different species of trees were selected specifically for their ability to provide lots of shade once mature. These indigenous saplings had been planted at sensible intervals that would allow their canopies to flourish in the years to come. Each one had two painted stones marking the name of the tree (family name) and the name of the student who was taking responsibility for the tree.
The students were selected from the recently formed Eco Clubs, which are part of the Children in the Wilderness curriculum that has only just been implemented at Twabuka Primary. The recently installed solar pump supplies the water for the trees, as well as their small vegetable garden. The large twin tanks are filled by underground water through a pump that is driven by renewable energy from the sun through solar panels.
These tanks are not only for the school, they supply the whole of Sinde Village and are an asset for the community which is going to benefit hugely from the new solar pump and the fresh water that it will yield for the community.