Nachuma Village Water Project – Malawi

This project is made possible through the partnership of Water Charity and the National Peace Corps Association.

Nachuma Village, Zomba District, Malawi

Community Description
Nachuma is a typical rural Malawian village without running water or electricity, located along a dirt road, about a two-hour walk from the city of Zomba. Nachuma, an unusually large village (two to three times larger than other Village X partner villages), has one operational borehole, built-in 1993, that frequently has maintenance problems. Most of the village doesn’t use this borehole due to the long walking distances.

Problem Addressed
There is no accessible clean water source for rural residents of Nachuma 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.

Project Description
This project entails constructing a borehole in Nachuma Village. A village project committee, acting on behalf of the entire village, chose the borehole location. The site is publicly accessible. EZ Borehole Drillers, a company located in Blantyre, with substantial experience in the area, including a number of other boreholes funded by Water Charity, will do the construction.

The installation will take three days to complete. It is expected that water will be reached at about 45 meters, but the wells will be drilled to depths 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. EZ Borehole Drillers will guarantee the borehole for one year.

Above ground, the boreholes will include a standard metal pump mechanism, a cement foundation to protect the pump mechanism, a cement spillway to channel excess water, and a clothes-washing station. 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 $400 in cash.

Project Impact
There are 1,487 people in 302 households who will directly benefit from the project. Village X will gather data from the nearest health clinic to evaluate the impact of the borehole, comparing rates of waterborne illness before and after installation.

Return Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Michael Buckler

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.

The technical committees 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 well-being of Nachuma. 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 them sustainable into the future.

EZ Borehole Drillers can conduct a survey and complete the borehole within two weeks. This project is URGENT, as the rainy season will arrive in mid to late November.

Michael Buckler, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Malawi from 2006 to 2008, will administer the project. 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.

Mike expressed, “Once again, thanks so much for the partnership. Please help us finish the last two boreholes before the rains come!”

Due to the devaluation of the currency in Malawi, and great program management by Village X, Water Charity is able to build an extra borehole this year in our Malawi Borehole Program.  This program falls under our ongoing East Africa Water & Sanitation Initiative.

This project has been funded by an anonymous donor.

This project has been completed.  To see the results, CLICK HERE.