By Carol Borg
When the J. Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust announced their annual call for proposals, Steve Manders jumped at the chance to use his skills to make a difference. Manders is a retired construction and oil field businessman who is in Zambia with his wife Carol Borg, Embassy Lusaka’s medical provider.
Manders had already made contact with Game Rangers International (GRI), a non-profit conservation organization focused on resource protection, community outreach, and wildlife rescue in Zambia. GRI was in the middle of a project to move a group of orphaned elephants from an existing site to Lusaka National Park, where they would have more space to roam. Despite a number of drilling attempts, the young elephants did not yet have their own free-flowing watering holes, which would be critical to their well-being inside the park. As an engineer, this was a problem Manders could solve.
Manders applied to the J. Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust to request supplies needed to build a solar-powered pump for a new watering hole for the elephants, February 2022. Once he was awarded the grant, June 9, Manders enlisted the assistance of the Marine Security Guard Detachment posted at Embassy Lusaka. Together they dug the watering hole, lined it with rocks, and built and installed a solar-powered pump to keep the hole filled with water.
The orphaned elephants, under the watchful eyes of their handlers, have already spent time in the watering hole, cavorting, splashing, and having fun. The watering hole is near the Visitor Education Center at Lusaka National Park, where tourists and locals can appreciate the creatures and learn more about continued conservation efforts.
Carol Borg is a medical provider at Embassy Lusaka.