By Janet Mbwadzulu, World Vision Malawi WASH Communications Officer
Community members from Nyadani Trust in Ching’anda Area Development Programme (ADP) in Mangochi have commended World Vision Malawi (WVM) for initiating a life serving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme which has seen their community having a borehole for the first time in five years.
Community members from this trust are people from different districts of Malawi who left their home districts to find a bigger land for themselves for development following the Government’s land distribution programme.
According to the Water Point Committee Vice Chairperson, Esnart Selengu, community members from the Trust were walking long distances to collect safe and protected water from boreholes in the nearest communities.
As if the long distance alone was not enough, Esnart said it was not easy to access water at the borehole as they were tortured by community members from those villages. “They were calling us foreigners who are here to invade their land and could sometimes throw away our jerricans. This situation forced us to share water with animals on a well that keeps water only during the rainy season and resulted in frequent diarrheal cases,” she regretted.
When we were transferred from Thyolo to come here in 2007, we struggled with a few things as we settled down in the first year. But the water problems persisted until June 2013 when WVM drilled a borehole for us.
“As am talking to you, about ten households transferred back to their home district because they couldn’t withstand the water problems here. Just where this borehole was drilled, it was a household for one of those people who went back to Thyolo distrist,” she said.
“This borehole is manna from heaven for us and we treasure it so much. I can tell you that even those who went back to their home district do not believe us when we tell them that we now have a borehole within the trust,” she continued.
The Chairman for the Trust, Goliath Mankhokwe, added to say he never understood when people say water is life until he transferred to the trust that they hunted for water as gold regardless of gender.
“Back in Thyolo, rivers and wells are all over and we felt like we have been thrown into a prison when we saw the extent of water problems here. No wonder the idea of going back to our original home districts grew among us, he said.
Suffice to say, community members in Nyadani Trust now have potable water nearby and they say they now feel at home. Goliath said with water from this borehole, they are looking forward to a diarrheal free rainy season which will give them even more time than they are having now to concentrate on other household and community chores instead of hunting for water.
“Since this borehole started functioning, we are now bathing on a daily basis, washing is no longer a hassle and some have molded bricks which is a sign of our settlement here.
The ADP Chaiman for Ching’anda recommended several development activities that WVM is doing in the ADP, but most especially in all the 16 Trusts in the ADP as these are communities that lost hope for a better life as they are settling in the new area.
“Through WVM WASH Programme for instance, we have benefitted with boreholes which are providing us with safe and clean water, which is life. We are also receiving water-guard from WVM through this same programme, and you know that several communities in this ADP are along the lake hence they rely on unsafe and unprotected water from the lake. So this water-guard is assisting us a lot,” he clarified.
“On top of that, WVM is training us to follow good sanitation and hygiene practices through Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). All these have helped a lot in reducing diarrhea and cholera cases in this ADP,” he continued.
With funding from charity: water, WVM through its WASH Programme has drilled 8 boreholes and rehabilitated 10 in Ching’anda ADP alone.