Community Water Pipelines
Malawi is considered a water stressed country, with an erratic climate, featuring only one rainy season a year.
Apart from borehole repair, we’ve also been involved in establishing and renovating community water pipelines.
Bilison Village pipeline
We constructed a pipeline to Bilison Village, placing taps in two villages, helping 500 people, and relieving pressure on the one borehole pump. The people were delighted, they’d never had water from taps in their location before!
Upgrading Mtikhe Village pipeline
A while later, we upgraded another pipeline to Mtikhe, including 3 other villages along the way—856 households benefitted. It was a joint venture with villagers, 15 men were employed to dig the main pipe trenches, then village volunteers extended those to the new standpipes, and filled in after the pipes were laid.
Mtikhe Village— ladies delighted with the new pipeline and tap bringing safe water.
In the background you can see one of our Community Centres built to house a nursery school, and other education, health, and civic events.
Constructing a new pipeline for Gogo Nazombe Health Centre
Then construction of a new pipeline to the busy Gogo Nazombe Health Centre followed. This is the main gov. health-care provider, the only one in the area with a free-of-charge service in an area of severe, widespread poverty. Each day it was usually overwhelmed with over 150 patients, and 2,500 on ART Clinic Days. (HIV & AIDS testing & treatment).
There had never been a tapped water supply near the Centre —the closest was 1.5km away—and the only water avail- able for drinking, taking tablets, washing hands etc, was a poorly working borehole pump. Being close to the border, some sick from Mozambique also attended, so for health and hygiene, the Centre needed its own reliable water supply.
The work began with 40 people digging the main pipe trenches for almost 2km across arid open land, then volunteers from the local villages hoed out the smaller feeder trenches.
In the meantime, 5 standpipes with cement aprons were constructed, 2 at the health facility, and 3 others in adjacent villages, and eventually all the pipework was complete and connected.
It was a huge logistical challenge, but we worked together with the local villagers who, apart from digging trenches, supplied and transported sand & quarry stone for the aprons, and provided security throughout the project.
We always aim to work in partnership with the local communities so they “own” the project and take more responsibility for its care in the future.
Local officials estimated 5,800 people benefitted, and we also repaired the borehole pump at the Health Centre for maximum support!