Twenty-seven years of civil conflict, which ended in 2002, severely damaged Angola’s basic education and health infrastructure.
It is estimated that 47 percent of the population do not have access to clean drinking water (UNICEF, 2012) and water led diseases are still a major cause of mortality. In addition, only around 30 percent of school children achieve primary education (UNESCO, 2013).
Angola’s National Development Plan and the ‘Water for All’ Programme are taking great strides in helping to turn the numbers around and we are proud to be able to support the effort.
Our health and education projects primarily focus on rural Angola, where there is a substantial need for school construction, water infrastructure and awareness around sanitation. Through cooperation with local partners, we have developed a number of unique, integrated CSR projects.
In 2012, the CSR team visited Lucunga for the first time. The village lies in a beautiful mountainous region in the interior of Benguela that has a population of around 3000 people. The main source of income in the area is farming along with small-scale production of coal derived from trees.
During the visit, the team found strong motivation among the villagers to educate the 300 (approximately) children living in the area. However, with only a large tree to serve as a school area, classes were held inconsistently.
The team also learned that the community was struggling with polluted drinking water due to unsafe sanitation practices. This caused diarrhoea, typhoid fever and skin infections which in turn meant that both children and teachers missed school classes regularly.
Through dialogue and partnership with the local NGOs, community members and government, a new project was initiated in corporation with our block partners in 2013 to tackle the local challenges. So far the project has achieved the following outcomes.
-Construction of a primary school in the heart of the Lucunga village, with the capacity for 300 pupils. The facilities are powered by solar energy.
-Construction of a water well built next to the school, providing school children, teachers and community members with easy access to safe water.
– Creation of a vegetable garden built next to the water well to allow school children and their families to have a source of a varied diet.
-A programme in capacity building in sanitation and hygiene as well as the construction of household and communal pit latrines.