When families in Mlenga Village, T/A Chikowi in Zomba district villages turn on borehole at shared water points, they receive clean water for drinking, cooking, washing, and bathing.
This may seem unremarkable, but not too long ago, residents had been consuming contaminated water drawn from unprotected sources such as streams and wetlands.
The change results from the drilling of a borehole by Village X Organization with funding from friends of the organization and Water Charity with an aim of addressing community water and sanitation issues.
“We suffered from recurrent bouts of diarrhoea due to lack of safe water and proper sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices,” says Lucy Kaliyoni. “Now diarrhoea and the risk of contracting other waterborne diseases is past tense,” she comments.
“I have pure drinking water. Now I can go to school and study without getting sick,” says ten-year-old Joseph Semu. “In the past, I missed classes often due to frequent stomach aches,” he adds.
The borehole, drilled near several water points, serves close to 587 people in the 2 villages combined and has been extended to neighbouring villages.
“People from neighbouring villages come to draw water from this point–especially when they can’t get water from taps in their own communities,” Village Headman Mlenga explains.
Village X Malawi Country Representative Myson Jambo said their organization use bottom approach by not making decisions to people.
“They make decisions based on what the whole village voted for. Mlenga Village water project is our first project which people from that village voted for,” said Jambo.
He also said the community members and neighbouring villagers make small monthly contributions per household to be used to cover the cost of maintenance.
Jambo said the communities take care of the facilities and have been trained on maintaining the borehole when it breaks down. “They have water and they need to take care of it,” Jambo says.
“Each time we implement a water project in a community, we engage the Ministry of Water to help in supervising the work and in training water users on how to carry out maintenance work,” says Jambo.
Currently, Village X is working in the Southern Region in four districts of Mulanje, Zomba, Phalombe and Chiradzulu.
However, according to Jambo they intend to expand the system to serve more people in central and northern region.
“We intend to make safe drinking water accessible to more people in the coming years. Our partnership with the donors is key in ensuring that we achieve this goal,” says Jambo.
Village X was approved by the Malawi government on 23 October 2014. It deals in various projects apart from providing safe water to the community through drilling of boreholes like, nursery school block constructions, teacher houses livestock keeping projects and bridge constructions.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :