Balakasi Village Borehole Project – Malawi
This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.
Balakasi is a typical rural Malawian village without running water or electricity, located along a dirt road, about an hour away from the city of Zomba.
There is no accessible clean water source for residents of Balakasi Village. This leads to illness and, in some cases, death, particularly among children under the age of 5.
Most residents currently fetch water for drinking and cooking from dirty wells or waterways like streams or rivers. Women, in particular, are vulnerable in the absence of clean, nearby water sources.
In nearby villages, women fetching water from sometimes distant, unsanitary sources have experienced domestic abuse for taking too long (husbands suspect infidelity), rape (when women venture into remote areas), and death from drowning in flooded rivers during the rainy season.
This project entails constructing a borehole in Balakasi Village.
The borehole location was chosen by a village project committee, acting on behalf of the entire village. The site is publicly accessible. Construction will be done by EZ Borehole Drillers, a company located in Blantyre, with substantial experience in the area, including other boreholes funded by Water Charity.
The installation will take three days to complete. It is expected that water will be reached at about 45 meters, but the well will be drilled to a depth of about 60 meters, if necessary.
Before drilling, a hydro-geographical assessment using electrical measurements will be conducted to find the depth of the underlying aquifer. The borehole will be guaranteed for one year by EZ Borehole Drillers.
Above ground, the borehole will include a standard metal pump mechanism, a cement foundation to protect the pump mechanism, and a cement spillway to channel excess water.
Water Charity funds will be used to pay for the skilled labor as well as for the materials that cannot be found locally, such as piping, fixtures and fittings, and concrete. Communities will contribute volunteer labor, materials, including bricks and sand, and about $300 in cash.
502 people in 113 households will benefit from the project.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
The project will be administered by Michael Buckler, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Malawi from 2006 to 2008. He is the founder and CEO of Village X, a social enterprise located in Washington, D.C. dedicated to improving community development work in sub-Saharan Africa. He is a member of the National Peace Corps Association, Friends of Malawi, and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, D.C.
This is the 10th well under the Malawi Borehole Program.
Monitoring and Maintenance
EZ Borehole Drillers will conduct 2 days of community-based borehole management training. Trainees will include the village chief and members of two borehole management committees, a technical committee (responsible for upkeep and maintenance) and a sanitation committee (charged with keeping the borehole tidy).
This is an important infrastructure project that will improve the health and wellbeing of Balakasi. It is well planned, with strong management and fiscal safeguards in place. It incorporates elements of oversight and buy-in by the residents to ensure sustainability into the future.
This project has been paid for by an anonymous donor.
If you like this project, donate to the Program, so that we have funds on hand to continue the series of boreholes.