LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Stanbic Bank Zambia has donated K150,000 towards the construction of the Leopard’s Hill Old Cemetery perimeter fence.
Coined the ‘Wall Project,’ the perimeter wall will consist of over 183 six by three metre sections to be built at a cost of K10,000 each bring the total cost of the 1.1 kilometre wall to K1.8 million.
The wall is designed to bring serenity to the iconic cemetery while also serving as the first phase in turning the burial ground into a ‘garden of remembrance’ complete with rest areas, jogging lanes and trading areas outside the wall.
Speaking during the handover ceremony at the Old Leopards Hill cemetery, Stanbic Bank Head of Marketing and Communications Perry Siame said the bank was steadfast in its commitment to playing an active role in improving the communities in which it operates.
He said: “We always say that Zambia is our home, we drive her growth. What this means is that we are eager to contribute significantly to the growth of the country’s economy. Aside from this, we remain committed to playing an active role in developing the communities in which we operate.
It is for this reason we decided to answer the Lusaka City Council’s invitation to partner on the ‘Wall Project’ and raise the standard of Old Leopard’s Hill cemetery.”
In handing over the cheque donation to the council, Stanbic Bank Zambia Chief Executive Leina Gabaraane described the famous burial ground as sacred and said every citizen of Lusaka city had a responsibility to ensure the cemetery maintained the highest level of dignity.
“These grounds are sacred because they are the final resting place for our ancestors and the people we love. It is said that dignity comes after life and it is the responsibility of each one of us still standing on our own two feet to bring this dignity to our loved ones resting here.
“We responded to the mayor’s call for the project because this ground here belongs to every citizen of Lusaka. And as a corporate citizen we are excited to be participating in this project.”
The bank boss called on the rest of the corporate world and the public to participate in the project stating that such projects should not be left to government and the council alone.
“Let us all put our resources together and build this wall. No contribution is too small to make a difference. If you have a brick, you can donate it; if you have cement, you can bring it here.
“One of the reasons we are doing this is because we see this as an opportunity to create employment for the youths. The block makers and cement suppliers for example will have a market for their products thanks to this project.
“The money we are donating to the project may not be enough to complete the whole wall but it will bring the wall a step closer to completion.
“It is said that a mountain can be created from one stone. This is our stone, and hopefully others will come and contribute their own stones as well and eventually we will have a mountain and the wall will be complete.”
Speaking at the same event, Mayor of the greater city of Lusaka His Worship Miles Sampa said he was humbled by Stanbic Bank’s kind gesture.
“Most Zambians have a personal connection to this cemetery because we all have a loved one buried here – yet the grounds have been grossly abused.
“Without a fence our relatives appear to be quite exposed and abandoned. This is why we felt it necessary to make the wall a starting point for the uplifting of this place.
“I’d like to thank Stanbic Bank for their contribution which will cater for about 10 percent of the wall. I encourage other companies to come through and do their part and support this cause.”
The Mayor also commended Stanbic for its enhanced sustainability approach, particularly when it comes to promoting music through the Stanbic Music Festival. He said the council would support the event because it put Lusaka on the map as a tourist destination.