Eva Demaya officially hands over Luviri Secondary School to the Malawi government

Eva Demaya is again on the map in Malawi after a very successful and enjoyable event on Monday 28 September.
That day Luviri Secondary School was officially handed over to the Malawi government.

The ceremony was a very high profile one, covered by all the major media outlets here, as the guest of honour was the First Lady of Malawi, Mrs Monica Chakwera, wife of the new State President, His Excellency Lazarus Chakwera. The First Lady comes from the Luviri area, appreciates the work of the Centre so she was delighted to accept Jacqueline’s invitation to come and cut the ribbon to mark the official hand-over.

The First Lady’s speech emphasized the vital importance of education as a driver of national development. Luviri Secondary School can bring enormous benefits to many young people for years to come.

Also present was the Minister of Education, Mrs Agnes Nyalonje, who in her speech cited the achievement of Eva Demaya in creating this beautiful school as an example to the whole country of what is possible with energy, vision, skill and sound use of financial resources. The high quality of the construction of the various buildings was noted by both speakers. The donors in the Netherlands were extensively praised and thanked for making the whole project possible.
A pleasant surprise was the Malawi government’s confirmation that it would supply the school with beds, mattresses, books and desks.

While the First Lady’s presence gave a lot of extra preparatory work for this big event, the organisation was more than rewarded by the extremely positive and extensive publicity resulting from it. Everyone has commented that the school looks magnificent and general hope is that it will become operational as soon as the Covid-19 situation in Malawi allows.

Building hostels at Luviri school

In January Eva Demaya Centre started phase 3 of the construction of Luviri Secondary School. This last phase concerns the building of two hostels were male and female students can live during their study.

This year there were heavy rains and the start of phase 3 was therefore a bit slow. The rains led to impassable paths to the site for trucks delivering bricks, sand and quarry. But in the months March and April the builders and labourers caught up on the original planning and progress is going on well.

The pictures accompanying this post give a good impression of the progress in the building process of the different buildings. Each of the two primary buildings can accommodate 75 young people, latrines, bathrooms and kichens are separate buildings.

Building activities are on schedule now and activities go quite smooth with the experienced workers under the supervision of the chief builder Mr Bosco Zgambo and with the coordination from the Eva Demaya Centre.

At the end of April the activities have not yet been delayed by any measures taken by the Malawian government due to the Covid-19-virus. One of these measures is the closure of all schools in Malawi. But it is expected that the new Luvirischool can open its doors as planned at the start of the coming school year, in September.

Final building phases for Luviri school

There is still a lot of activity on the building site of the Luviri school. All the workers make their best effort to have most of the work ready, just before the rain season starts.
Two of the four staff houses have been painted, with plumbing work for bathrooms done and flooring ready. Also a brick sealer has been applied for the breeze blocks to look shiny. A lot of work is also done to dig 8 pit latrines for the staff houses and foundation for bathroom and kitchens have been done. Also the administration block is looking nice with his iron roof sheets and shiny brick sealer. And moulding of building blocks has stopped because there is enough for the remaining construction work.

Overall, progress is visible, and the expectation of a successful last phase of the project seems justified.
For the coming time, good coordination at all levels must be maintained including the good collaboration with donors, the government through Ministry of education for the advisory support as well as monitoring.

There has been a meeting between Jacqueline and Mr Moyo, the highest official of the Ministry of Education in the northern region of Malawi.
Subject in their conversation was of course the Luviri secondary school. The ministry of Education plan to open the school with the beginning of the new school year in August 2020. The number of students that can start, is under discussion.
It is quite certain that the school can start as a day school, with one class for students from the nearby villages.
But to have the school fully operational with more classes, students from the whole district should be selected. For their housing hostels are needed, for both boys and girls. Plans to build these hostels are currently studied by the Stichting Eva Demaya in the Netherlands, which is asked to provide funding.

Second phase Luviri school started

In april the second phase of building activity started.
First two senior houses are to be built. These houses are in the last stadium of finishing, with roofing done, electrical wiring in place and plastering done.

At the moment work on the administration block started. Window level to beam level and next to gable level is done and preparations for roofing are made now.


All building activities are quite successful, delivery of materials were always in good time, which is an enormous achievement.
Furthermore labor efficiency and teamwork of the builders is very good.
On the other side the project suffered from water shortages at the project site due to some villagers deliberately breaking the main pipe to serve their cattle with water for drinking. This problem has been sorted out by engaging chiefs surrounding the villages to discuss with the communities surrounding the project area.

Festive ceremony phase one Luviri school

Eva Demaya organised a ceremony marking the closing of phase 1 project on 22nd March 2019, even though there were a few final touches remaining to be finalised. The ceremony intended to allow the community see and appreciate the progress of the project and also inform them about the starting of 2nd phase two activities in April 2019.

Eva Demaya Centre appreciates Wilde Ganzen and Eva Demaya in the Netherlands for funding the first phase project activities for it to be a success.
Among other participants who attended the function were Chiefs, a representative from Rumphi district Education Office (PEA), the land donor, students and people around the community.

The adjacent pictures show some of the activities that have taken place. Like making of drains, painting of window panes, fixing window glasses and air vents and finalizing by painting the last details.


End of phase one is nearing

Many activities take place in the building process of the Luviri school. The two school blocks and two staff houses in phase one of the project are near to completion. This means that tubing and wiring for electrifying is done, the framework for the ceiling is made, plastering, flooring, pointing and skirting on the outside walls is worked on. And with the first coat painting of the walls inside, the staff houses look beautiful.
So far the project is going on well with manageable challenges. The first phase of the project will be finished by March end 2019.


Working on the inside…

The building process is moving on quite well. The second school block is now roofed, so the building will stay dry during the rainy season. In het first school blok and in the first teachers house flooring and plastering the walls has been done.

Good communication at all levels within the project, with timely feedback and supply of materials helps the project to progress well.
Cooperation with the communities is also of great importance. As a consequence of vandalism of water pipes at the intake, the project suffered from the lack of continuous water supply. The water problem has been resolved by the Chiefs who took an initiative by organizing a meeting with the community surrounding the intake where the pipes were sabotaged – and with success, the water supply is now restored.

Lots of activity at the background…

The building of the different buildings of the school complex is going well.
This is largely down to the good collaboration of all those involved and to the availability of funds.

Procurement of materials for the building process is done at the Mzuzu office of the Eva Demaya Centre. In Mzuzu most of the materials are readily available in bulk compared to Rumphi, the town nearest to where the project is being carried out.
Mr Lameck Munthali is the procurement manager and he goes around town to different shops to collect quotations for the requested needed. Thereafter the 4-person procurement committee sits down to compare prices and selects the best mix of affordable prices and good quality materials; the materials order is then placed. The collection of building materials is done by the procurement officer together with one member of the procurement committee. After collecting the materials from the suppliers, they are transported to the project site which is about 100 km from Mzuzu City. The materials are kept at the stores on the building site after being delivered, and are supervised by the Stores Clerk.

The photos here show the latest progress on the buiding site: the first school building is roofed with iron sheets, while the second school block is at beam level.

School takes form

In the meantime it’s October and the building activities show great progress. The outlines of some of the buildings can already been seen. The first house for teaching staff has been roofed with iron sheets. For another staff house the windows has been put in place. For one of the school buildings the slabs (footing level) are ready, for another one the floor has been prepared and builders have started with building the corners.

The moulding of the Stabilized breeze blocks is an ongoing activity which is very labour- intensive. It starts with the carrying of water by some local women to the area where the clay is prepared.
After mixing the water, clay and some other ingredients, the substance is moulded in the forms and from then the sun does its work. It’s an impressive sight, this large field of bricks side by side.
Transporting of breeze-blocks from one point to another within the site is a real challenge. The project management team is investigating whether hiring a lorry would be more effective and can be done within the budget.

Kick-off for the Luviri secondary school building project

Preparation of the building site

For the building of Luviri Secondary School 8 hectares of land were donated by the owner, a local farmer, Mr Kanyerere Gondwe. The parcel is located at about 3 kilometres east of the Centre in a remote and uncultivated area with almost no houses. It is a good and quiet surrounding for a new school.

In May building activities for the Luviri secondary school officially started when the constructor Mr Bosco Zgambo signed a contract with the centre.
Also crucial to the building project was the installation of a water tap by Nkhamanga water users. And community members kicked off the project by clearing the land.
Storage room and builders house

Because the out-of-the-way location offers no existing place for the accomodation of the builders and storage of building materials, the first thing to do was to build a temporary, simple structure as housing for the builders and storage of equipment and materials.

The storage place and workers’ house are being built with bricks donated by the community. The roof is made of recycled iron sheets. To further keep the cost as low as possible, the building of these temporary structures is being carried out by local bricklayers and the Centre’s carpenter. Meekness Mfune has been employed as stores clerk and is responsible for the material management.
Kicking off building of school structures
The preparation of the building of the school structures started with the production of the Stabilised Soil Blocks (SSB) by some specially selected stabilised soil block makers and is now in progress.
For transportation of bricks and sand a ten-ton truck has been commissioned.

As of this writing (end of June 2018) the first foundations – those of the teachers’ houses – can be seen as the first result of hard work!