The Katete district office, in the Eastern Province, had just the little spark that caught my eye. This spark embodied a central point of international development and the key to Akros’ success: the people. Government Officials, Environmental Health Technicians, Community Champions, and the village locals themselves. They are the ones who represent the Community-Led Total Sanitation program to make it successful and sustainable from the beginning. Akros supports the Zambian community in a way that utilizes the needs specifically for each Province and District. If there is an area that demands more, there will be more time and efforts put towards it. But the only way to determine those needs and demands is by truly understanding what is going on in the local communities. This is why the district assessments are so important.
On the wall in the district office I noticed a poster containing an important quote. This quote reflects the key components to the success of the CLTS program. It read,
“A person needs just three things to be truly happy in the world; someone to love, something to do and something to hope for.”
The hope for Akros and the communities are the same: to improve the health and livelihood of the citizens of Katete. Community members are participating in CLTS for the people they love: their families, their neighbors, their friends, their community. This hope provides purpose, and a long list of what needs to be done to reach the goal of ODF status. But by working hand in hand, to achieve this goal, Katete, and hopefully the rest of Zambia will achieve this goal to be truly healthy and happy.
About Tory Evans
Tory Evans is a Community Health major at Montana State University. She plans on earning her masters degree in Public Health upon her graduation in May 2016. In the future, she would love to live abroad and work in international development.