Clean water is helping children stay healthy in Malawi

Families in Malawi in southeastern Africa are healthier, with the availability of more fresh water in their villages. A partnership between WHOlives and the ASEA® Advancing Life® Foundation has provided access to a Village Drill. This equipment makes drilling specialized boreholes less expensive, more efficient, and easier for locals to maintain. Read about how the locals are doing now that they have easier access to clean water.

Training teaches locals how to drill a well properly

In the last year, the Foundation has teamed up with WHOlives to launch a new rig in the Salima district of southeastern Africa. To make sure the wells were installed properly and that the local people understood how to maintain them, WHOlives sent two trainers.

“With the new rig, our work has transformed,” says Elias Mzumara, Trainer with Village Drill, “Now we are drilling deeper boreholes in places we couldn’t before. We now have properly trained the team to drill these specialized boreholes and bring clean water to rural villages in the surrounding area.”

The dangers of a broken water well system

Before the new boreholes, families were struggling with disease from tainted water. Now children can get clean water at school, saving them time and encouraging academic success.

The latest borehole was drilled in the Lilongwe rural district and donated to the village’s orphan learning center. This freshwater well provides clean water to 120 children under the age of five and also provides for families in the ten surrounding villages. Because of the gratitude and well-being of the villagers, there are 12 more local village chiefs who have shown interest in participating in community-funded boreholes.

“Our children were drawing water from shallow open wells and would frequently fall ill in the process”, says Steve Mashangani, a teacher at the school. “These wells were shallow but open to animals and dust particles that fall in. It’s hard to believe that the entire village drank out of this dirty water well for years.”

Clean water to help build a hospital

In Bunda, a freshwater well was drilled down 25 meters into the earth, with a submersible pump and three separate taps for water distribution from a 1,000-liter collecting tank. The new borehole in the area will help provide water to workers who are set to build a local hospital. Locals have needed a hospital in the area, and now it will be built, thanks to access to a clean water well. After the hospital’s completion, the staff plans on using the freshwater for suffering patients.

“I am very happy to have clean water here,” says Dr. Yami, owner of the latest drilling site. “We are planning to build a hospital on this land, and this water well will go a long way to help the construction project and give clean water to those receiving treatment.”

Families forever grateful

Most domestic labor in gathering fresh water falls on women and girls, often putting their lives at risk. A freshwater well drilled close by a family home can save hours of labor every day. Children can focus on schooling, and mothers can rest easier knowing the clean water won’t infect their families.

“I live here in Kambwiri village in Salima,” says Selina Kamba. “I’ve been struggling to collect water for my family my entire life. Our nearest borehole was over three miles away. Most of the time, we collected water from the nearby river and open, shallow water wells. The children got sick, and now we owe money for medical bills. Now that WHOlives has built a new borehole, I only spend two minutes collecting water and have more time to help my family.”

Join the cause of clean water

Clean water is an initiative that everyone can get behind. It can be tough to know how to help the most people and make sure your donation has the biggest impact possible. With the Advancing Life Foundation, your donation will have double the impact because ASEA matches every dollar. See how you can help change the lives of families without clean water by donating.