Monday, May 12, 2008

Kageno, Banda: 2 years later

Two years ago, John and I had the pleasure of visiting Banda village and helping with the initial community assessment. What we found was a very special village tucked into a beautiful valley bordering the Nyungwe Forest. The people were enthusiastic and embracing of the idea of an organization to assist them in development. We visited the future site of the Kageno project, trying to envision what this area would look like in 2 years.

Two years later, I drove down the valley to Banda to find some amazing advances made by the cooperation of Kageno and the community. The continued enthusiasm of the Banda people was evident as they gave me a tour of the new Kageno clean water project. A groundwater source of water is now piped to various cisterns throughout the community, eliminating the spread of parasites and waterborne disease.

The community boasted of the new roads built through community service during public works days. Troups of men and women could be found on any given day digging out roads to assist in the construction of future community projects. The plot of land we visited 2 years ago now housed a new clinic, pharmacy, and office building, with the foundation for a nursery school being created. Plans for a community center and ecotourism lodge to bring in tourists to the area for income generation were also touted by the local people.

In just 2 years, Kageno and Banda have made great strides. It was exciting for me to return and see the progress made since my last visit. I look forward to returning in 3 more years to see the Banda community thriving.

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