Adjusting to lockdown in Zambia
Zambia went into a partial lockdown when it recorded the first cases of COVID-19 in March. Since then, our team have been working from home, assisting with a national emergency hygiene campaign in collaboration with the Government.
In the sixth entry of our Lockdown Diary series Chileshe Chanda, our Voices from the Field Officer in Zambia, tells us about the challenge of adapting his role in lockdown, life with his family, and learning to cut his own hair.
I normally spend about 60% of my time in the field with communities and on project sites. The warmth and friendships I forge with people makes what I do very interesting.
So to stay and work from home has not been easy. I miss field work and the many friends I have made over the years in communities.
Trying to stay connected
Under lockdown, our ways of working are completely new. We endure long hours on different calls to collaborate and complete tasks. Sometimes we experience electricity rationing or poor internet connection, which disrupts things substantially.
It feels like coronavirus is delaying us a great deal. When I think about our mission to reach everyone, everywhere with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene by 2030, losing even a single day without project work is hard to handle.
I try to take healthy breaks throughout each day. It can be anything, a ten-minute ball game with my two sons, repairing their bicycles or squeezing a fresh fruit juice.
Our dogs, Rinty and Dinky are also extremely happy to have me at home all the time and always like to play.
To keep my boys entertained, I have been buying all sorts of games and toys. One is a little car made from tins and compressed air cans.
Though not so popular with my kids, this toy is the best one for me. It brought back a lot of memories of my childhood – we never had conventional toys and made do with anything at our disposal.
A fresh trim
Rather than putting me and my sons at risk by going to the barber shop, I learnt a new skill during lockdown. I bought hair clippers and am managing to cut my hair and beard by myself!
Waiting for change
Spending so much time at home, I have noticed the beauty of shadows created by light at different times of the day.
Behind every shadow there is a bright shining light. It gives me a sense of beauty, that there is hope all will be better one day soon.
WaterAid’s global COVID-19 response
Right now, our teams in 26 countries around the world are working flat out to provide handwashing essentials to stop the spread of coronavirus.