We stop over at a newly constructed market shelter. The market was built by the former mining giant ZCCM. There is also a community library which lies empty and a play park for children. But the market shelter, which has 24 stands, only has five old women trading there. The oldest of them is 74-year-old Stellia Jere. Stellia had 10 children, but they have all died. The last one died in June. She now takes care of five of her grandchildren. “Most of the people prefer trading from the streets in town, but I don’t have the strength to run away from the council police,” she says when I enquire about the empty stands.
Excerpt from another excellent piece by Jack Zimba - Living on less than a dollar a day. It paints a harrowing picture 46 years after independence. Readers will be familiar with my advice that we must always measure the effectiveness of our policies by how they affect "the grand mother in Samfya looking after many orphans". Stellia Jere is typical of that Zambian woman doing all she can to make a difference in face of impossible odds.