Malawi: Drinking From Contaminated Wells to Safe Kiosks - the Tale of Lilongwe Villagers

People from Kamphandira Village 2 and four other villages in Traditional Authority (TA) Mazengera in Lilongwe rural, are delighted because they now have safe and clean water through a mechanisation initiative by World Vision Malawi with financial support from World Vision New Zealand.

The water, which is treated accordingly by relevant personnel, is taken from its source using a solar powered pump which pushes the life saving liquid through pipes to two huge blue tanks placed at a foot of Nkhoma mountain.

Each tank takes in 10,000 litres of water.

From the tanks, the water then goes down through pipes to magnificently built kioks-one in each of the five villages.

The water flows down everyday and anytime, enabling the happy and excited villagers to access it nearby and use it freely and throughout for all manner of household chores.

On Friday, Director of Programs for World Vision Malawi, Charles Chimombo toured a kiosk in Kamphandira Village 2 where grateful community members showered praises on his organization for bringing them the water.

Apparently, over 15 households in Kamphandira Village 2 are accessing the water at the kiosk in their village.

One of the villagers, Keterina Msiya, who also belongs to a four-member committee which manages the kiosk, said they are now freed from the burden of fetching water far away-which was mostly contaminated.

"We actually found used condoms in one of the wells we drew water from. This was bad. But since we had no choice, we went ahead to use that water.

"We suffered a plethora of water borne diseases including diarrhea. I am glad that is now history," she said.

Village head Kamphandira 1 concurred with Msiya, adding that, finding condoms in a well, was the most disgusting thing.

"No one can tamper with our water anymore. I commend World Vision Malawi for this initiative and hope that this will remain the case in the many years to come," he said.

And in his remarks, Chimombo said the initiative has brought back the dignity of troubled women and girls in the five villages.

"We are talking about family cohesion-couples especially young ones having trust in each other because they are now spending more time together as wives are no longer busy fetching water.

"We are also talking about the well-being of children especially looking at the promotion of their nutrition. Water is associated with nutrition for children in a community. It brings that life that is needed which is in line with what World Vision promotes-life in all its fullness for our children,"Chimombo said.

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