Borehole Pump Repair

A broken borehole pump affects the whole community

Out in the rural areas if a borehole pump breaks down, the women may have to walk for miles to the next one, or risk their family’s health by using potentially polluted wells or rivers. Those in our target group—orphans, the elderly, those living with disabilities, and the AIDS-affected—are particularly prone to make this second choice through frailty or ill-health.

Collecting water from a distance is exhausting and time consuming. It leaves families and fields neglected, which then threatens harvest yields, leading to more hunger. Because of the pressure of water collection from a distance, children are often required to walk alongside to help carry the family’s water, missing school or arriving late.

Just a few examples of the difference that repairs make in the community:

Mureka Village Pump
(130 households, approx. 560 people)

Living on low-lying dambo land, villagers here were particularly alert to the risk of water-borne disease, so a broken pump was recognised as a dangerous threat to life.

This was a heavily-used pump with the next safe water point a long way away, so its failing capacity was of great concern to the whole community.

But after understanding the value of regular maintenance and a budget plan being put into effect, all were delighted when we serviced the pump, replaced worn parts, and gave them back a local, reliable water source again.

Mureka Pump after restoration, fully functioning

Mwanankhu Village Pump
(159 households, approx. 700 people)

This pump was still just about working but so slowly that many were forced to walk to the next source in another village—over 1km away—for their family’s water. Of course, the frail, elderly, and disabled villagers had to just sit in line with their containers and wait until their turn came, as it was the only local water supply safe to use.

Mwanankhu pump being repaired before the apron was rebuilt

Mwanankhu Village Pump after repair

We did major renovations to both pump and concrete apron. The apron had collapsed over time, leaving the environment unhygienic, unstable, and subject to further damage and pollution. Along with the pump repair, the apron was rebuilt, raising it above flood level, and now safe water is flowing, to the delight of all.

With the new plan gathering payments and a contract signed with the Area Water Mechanic, the villagers now have control of their supply—the future’s brighter!

Kambalame Village Pump
(80 households approx. 350 people)

Unusually, this was a “shallow well”, originally dug by hand rather than drilled, and was the only water source locally.

It had been rendered almost useless by thieves having stolen pump parts some months before, during the coronavirus pandemic, leaving the villagers having to use jars on sticks to get to the water—very slow and always congested with women waiting to get enough water for their families.

After repair, the pump was fitted with a metal, double-padlocked security cage, to prevent future theft and damage, while providing safe water. Smiles all round!

Repairing a borehole pump...

... the result!

Msikita Village

Msikita Village Borehole Pump 1
(260 households, approx. 900 people)

Msikita Borehole Pump 2
(340 households, approx. 1,150 people)

Msikta is a very large, sprawling, remote village with 2 pumps some distance apart.
When both had broken down, women had to walk long distances to get water
some took it from the river between Malawi and Mozambique—about 2km away.
Many became sick, and because of distance, the elderly, frail and disabled were at
particular risk.

But after we’d repaired both pumps, clean, safe water was available locally again, to the great relief and joy of the villagers in both areas.

Nchange Village Borehole Pump
(320 households, approx. 1,100 people)

This pump had been broken for months before brought to our notice and many people had become ill as a result of drinking polluted water.

The nearest borehole pump was a 2.5km walk where they inevitably met with resistance from those already in queues there.

Now that the borehole is working successfully again, the ladies from both villages are able to get on with their lives—and each other!

Life radically changes when local water is restored with a pump repair!

Nchange Village

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