Yelemiya Village Borehole Project – Malawi

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, scroll down the page.

Yelemiya Village, Karonga District, Malawi

Community Description
Yelemiya is a typical rural Malawian village without running water or electricity, located along a dirt road, a few miles from the M1 tarmac road running along the northern stretch of Lake Malawi. Before January 2019, residents in Yelemiya drew water from shallow wells. As shown in the graph below, the waterborne illness rate in Yelemiya is very high.

Problem Addressed
Until December 2018, there was no accessible clean water source for residents of Yelemiya Village. This led to illness and, in some cases, death, particularly among children under the age of 5. Most residents fetched water for drinking and cooking from dirty shallow wells. Women, in particular, were vulnerable in the absence of clean, nearby water sources. In our partner 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.

Project Description
This project entails constructing a borehole in Yelemiya 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 Vonder Water Technologies, a company located in Lilongwe, with substantial experience in the area, including boreholes funded by World Vision.

The borehole will be drilled to over 60 meters. Before drilling, a hydro-geographical assessment using electrical measurements will be conducted to find the depth of the underlying aquifer.

Above ground, the borehole will be fitted with 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 pay for skilled labor as well as for the materials that cannot be found locally, such as piping, fixtures and fittings, and concrete. Yelemiya will contribute labor, materials, including bricks and sand, and about $300 in cash.

Project Impact
This project will impact 401 people and 101 households.

Project Administration
The project will continue to 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 nonprofit located in Washington, D.C. dedicated to promoting democracy and disrupting extreme poverty in rural 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. Wedson Kondowe is the Village X Field Officer on the ground.

Monitoring and Maintenance
Vonder Water Technologies will conduct community-based borehole management training. Trainees will include the village chief and members of Yelemiya’s project committee that requested/planned the borehole.

This is an important infrastructure project that will improve the health and wellbeing of Yelemiya. 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.

Project Funding
The funds for this project have been provided by an anonymous donor. If you like this project, please Donate to Water Charity so we can continue supporting great projects such as this one.

Conclusion of Yelemiya Village Borehole Project – Malawi

This project has been completed under the direction of Michael Buckler, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and founder and CEO of Village X. To read about the start of the project, scroll to the top.

The project was designed to build a borehole in Yelemiya Village.

Michael reports:

Using funds from Water Charity, Vonder Water Technologies drilled a borehole at Yelemiya Village, Malawi, on December 2, 2018. The borehole was drilled to a depth of 63 meters. The water was tested and declared clean for drinking purposes. By December 9, 2018, Vonder Water Technologies had installed a standard metal pump mechanism, a cement foundation to protect the pump mechanism, and a cement spillway to channel excess water.

On January 5, 2019, after letting the cement around the borehole dry and harden, the community and Village X Field Officer Wedson Kondowe gathered to open the well. The well is in use by the community, providing clean water not only Yelemiya, but also the neighboring villages of Yakumutu and Chaluchamala, helping about 350 households in all (and approximately 1400 people). The chiefs from these villages were present at the celebration.

The borehole has a one-year guarantee against equipment malfunctions and other failures to harness clean water from the underlying acquirer.

By my count, the Malawi Borehole Program’s 14th project is complete. Thank you!

We extend our thanks to Michael for completing this important project.