A Diamond In The Rough.

In construction, some days are super busy especially when carried out outdoors while other days are still busy even when carried out indoors, nevertheless.

Classroom Block

Indoors, in the sense that drawings need to be drawn and redrawn to suit modifications to projects until their completion.

With so little time on my hands, the indoors aspect will remain a story to be told later. That way I can stick to the other aspect of the outdoors.

The site is Located in the outskirts of Lusaka province and just about several kilometers away from Choongwe’s Central Business District (CBD, hereafter).

Here, is where works for a Children’s school are underway to help support the growing demands for education in the area. At the moment, there are three existing schools with the third one having had been built about 2 years ago called Chipakata Children’s School.

Chipakata Children’s School

According to the brains behind this project, the idea for the third and fourth school came about to help cut down on the long distances that children needed to walk just to get an education in this area of clusters of villages. At planning, these schools therefore had to be positioned in the heart of the initial two schools but at opposites of each other for a maximum effect.

Expansive Hallway

I took an interest in the two schools for two main reasons, one being Hooray to children’s education in my country and secondly the state of the art designs employed here, which the locals now mockingly refer to as “muzungu designs”, who can’t laugh at that, right?

Expansive Hallway

With Chipakata already servicing hundreds of children with an education, Mwabwindo school is not that far behind with visible progress of works on Site.


Steel frames for the classes, a Library, a clinic, a plant room and administration offices are already up. While their foundations and that of the teachers’ compound have been dug with pouring of concrete footing currently underway.

Wet patch of land

Since the site lies on a wet patch of land, to avoid settlement of the buildings in the future, footing to the size of 200mm is being used with double walls for both the foundation walls and the exterior walls. Whereas, the size of the slab remains at a standard of 200mm.

200mm thick concrete footing
Foundation Wall

And with every great design, there application of green construction techniques follow, and the case is no different here.

Pressed Clay Brick Machine

Pressed Clay bricks with only 10% cement are being produced on site to be used in the construction which the Manager claims makes some difference due to the enhanced aesthetics they promise, and to which effect I remain in agreement with. Double walls are the norm on this site as I imagine was the case on the previous one too because of that school’s thick walls, the clay bricks are meant to be used as fair facing for the inner concrete block walls and for screen walls on the outdoor library.

Screen wall
Proposed doorway

Maybe it’s too soon to tell, but if Chipakata is anything to go by, this school will have generous openings in the form of doors and windows to bring in light and fresh oxygen in volumes of volumes. The vast corridors being used in the design is another sure way to achieve this.

Water needs are already catered for by a water borehole sunk at the time of breaking ground, and is expected to supply both the school and the teachers’ compound for years to come, even after operations commence.

Sustainability doesn’t just end here, a solar system is also in the pipeline to sustain the premises during blackouts. An explanation to how a plant room found itself as part of the accommodation schedule, yes?


At the end of my third visit here, I am left with a lot of emotions in reaction to the development going on but what’s the strongest is that of anxiety to see how it all comes together at completion.


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