Kusapa Village Borehole Project – Malawi

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

Kusapa Village, Zomba District, Malawi

Community Description
Kusapa is a typical rural Malawian village without running water or electricity, located along a dirt road, many miles from Zomba town and the tarmac road running from Blantyre to Zomba.

Problem Addressed
There is no accessible clean water source for residents of Kusapa 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, or walk 15 kilometers to a neighboring village. Women, in particular, are vulnerable in the absence of clean, nearby water sources.

Project Description
This project entails constructing a borehole in Kusapa 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 boreholes 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.

The community will contribute volunteer labor, materials, including bricks and sand, and about $300 in cash.

Project Impact
1,420 people in 183 households will benefit from the project.

Project Administration
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 Org, 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
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.

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 the people of Kusapa. 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
This project was funded through the generosity of the Schaefer Family Foundation.