Macha is an isolated rural community in Zambia and the place where the innovative approach has been tested and successfully implemented.. Macha ligt Macha is situated in the Southern province of Zambia, 75 kilometers from Choma and 380 km by car from capital Lusaka (a one hour direct flight). The area is mainly wooded and is at an altitude of 1000m. Macha has a tropical climate with a rainy season from the end October till the beginning of April. A limited number of people in Macha have electricity but in the rainy season there are power cuts several times a day.
In the Southern province, most people are subsistence farmers. Approximately 128,000 people live in traditional rural houses within a radius of 35km of Macha – more than 20,000 families. The inhabitants are mainly Batonge and50% of the population is younger than 12 years old. The birth rate in Zambia is 49.5 per 1000 inhabitants and the infant mortality rate is 107 in 1000. Average life span is 39 due to the enormous impact of the AIDS epidemic. Average wage is just USD1 per day.
Until 2003 the only means of communication with Choma (provincial capital) was an erratic VHF radio connection. Until the end of 2006, Macha was not connected to the telephone network and there was no mobile phone coverage.
Up to 2003 and due to the lack of development opportunities, lots of talented young people look for work in the capital Lusaka to earn a living for themselves and their families.