Mlenga Village Well Project – Malawi
This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.
Mlenga Village, Zomba District, Malawi
Mlenga is a typical rural Malawian village without running water or electricity.
There is no clean water available for residents of the village, which leads to illness and death.
Residents currently fetch water for drinking and cooking from a dirty shallow well. The closest borehole, at Ulumba Primary School a few kilometers away, is not functional. There is another borehole at the hospital in Saiti Village, also a few kilometers away, but it is for hospital use only.
This project is to build a deep well in Mlenga Village.
The borehole location was chosen by the entire village, consisting of about 90 families. The site is located in a publicly accessible place next to a field and along a dirt road.
The construction will be done by a drilling company located in Blantyre, with substantial experience in the area. 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. 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 the borehole company.
Above ground, the borehole will include a standard metal pump mechanism, a cement foundation to protect the pump mechanism, a cement spillway to direct water into a nearby vegetable garden, and a clothes washing station.
Additionally, the community will provide for the protection of the borehole by building a grass fence around the area, including the vegetable garden, and a small building around the borehole itself.
Water Charity funds will be used to pay for the skilled labor as well as for the materials, including piping, fixtures and fittings, and concrete.
Village X is contributing funds collected from their donors.
The Mlenga community is contributing volunteer labor, materials, including bricks and sand, and some cash.
521 people in 90 households will benefit from the project.
This 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.
Monitoring and Maintenance
The borehole company will conduct 2 days of community-based 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 and planting a vegetable garden that utilizes excess water from the well).
The technical committee will collect a maintenance fee of 100 MK (about 20 cents) per month per household to ensure that there are sufficient funds to adequately maintain the facility and repair it when needed.
This is an important infrastructure project that will improve the health and wellbeing of the villagers. It is well planned, with strong management and fiscal safeguards in place. It incorporates elements of oversight and buy-in by the residents to make it sustainable into the future.
Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.
Donations Collected to Date
Dollar Amount Needed
$0 – This project has been funded by a major Water Charity donor, who prefers to remain anonymous.
This project has been completed. To see the results, CLICK HERE.