Today has been eventful despite the fact that I’ve spent more than eight hours of it at the wheel of the Land Rover. We left Lusaka early this morning and arrived at the Choma Coca-Cola wholesaler just after midday. There we met Edmund Muleya the officer in charge. We hadn’t met Edmund before as we thought we would be able to serve the whole of Kalomo District from the wholesaler in Kalomo town. However, it turns out that retailers in the north east of Kalomo pick up their supplies from the neighbouring district town, Choma.
Fortunately for us Standard Sales owns and operates the Coca-Cola wholesaler in both towns and the owner has agreed to carry Kit Yamoyo stocks in both.
We briefed Edmund on the trial and the role of the Coca-Cola wholesaler within it and went through the Kit Yamoyo training materials and the Wholesaler Stock Card that we ‘d like wholesalers to keep.
We then pressed on to Kalomo to meet up with Rohit and Elizabeth Tarney who were overseeing day 2 of the baseline survey work and we went straight off-road to Bbilili to observe a focus group in action and meet the enumerators as they came in from day 2 of their household survey work.
There was a lot going on in Bbilili because the inter-Ward football tournament was under way and Bbilili has one of the few non-dry water wells for miles around. Some women had walked 6km to draw water and then had to wait in line.
Then came a highlight. As usual there is a lot of interest when Muzungus (while people) arrive in a community and we are obliged to say what we were doing. Albert (from Keepers Zambia Foundation) obliged. He was half way through explaining the Kit Yamoyo when a man called Honest Siakapongo asked the price. Honest then put his hand in his pockets and pulled out a K5,000 note. “I want it” he said “I have a son at home with diarrhoea”.
We hesitated for a moment – Rohit was worried about his baseline – and then common sense prevailed and we sold our first kit. Mr Siakapongo of Bbilili will go down in the ColaLife annals as the first person to buy a Kit Yamoyo.
Then came the lowlight. We ended up travelling back from Bbilili in the dark and the corrugations in the road seemed a lot worse than on the way out. I then realised we had a flat tyre. I stopped and got out to see a smoking back wheel. It had been flat for a while. The tyre was shredded and too hot to handle and the rim damaged beyond repair. So finding a new rim and tyre will be high on our ‘To Do’ list for tomorrow when our ‘test run’ retailers come in to buy their first Kit Yamoyos.