Reflections on Malawi 2018
Last week myself and two of my colleagues returned from an unforgettable trip to Malawi. My lasting memory is of a vibrant, beautiful country that is slowly but surely developing.
A large number of villages are still using unsafe water sources and diarrhoeal diseases are rife, despite being preventable and treatable. In contrast, communities that have properly maintained water wells record far fewer cases of illness and as a result are developing faster.
Along with the immediate health benefits, having a water well is a far more accessible way of gathering water. It saves countless painstaking trips on rugged paths, which I am sure my male colleagues will agree was incredibly difficult. Picture (if you can), three sunburnt chaps stumbling up a track, sloshing water violently from buckets above their heads, whilst young woman glided past without spilling a drop (most of which were also carrying babies on their backs)! The resilience and persevering attitude of these ladies was beyond humbling.
Aside from these inspirational women, the highlight of the trip for me was watching a borehole drill creating a new water well in front of a village of smiling, expectant faces. The water source prior to this was an open hole at the bottom of the afore mentioned path, shared by animals and subject to seasonal droughts. Watching the new system replace the old was truly motivating.
The Nora Doherty school in Dedza provided further evidence that water is the springboard to development. A small nursery can now provide a daily meal of water and oats which in turn has dramatically improved attendance and an allotment now services the older students and teachers thanks to being regularly watered.
These little improvements all add up to a healthier, happier community and importantly provide young children with a better chance to succeed. I can’t wait to go back to Malawi to see more communities that are being transformed by water projects and would like to thank all of our customers to date for making this happen.