We had a successful year in 2017 which resulted in the following achievements:
- We have received approval as a Registered Canadian Charity
- We have completed the construction of a biosand filter factory
- We have developed partnerships to extend our impacts and move to sustainability
- We have reinforced and expanded our training
- We have supported the creation of sustainable healthy villages
- We have installed 1675 filters as of the end of December providing clean water to over 12,700 users
- We have held 124 community meetings which have provided training on proper sanitation and hygiene to 13,000 participants
In January 2017, we incorporated as an independent society and were approved by the Canada Revenue Agency as a Registered Canadian Charity.
We have named the new charity Healthy Lives International Society (BN784173890RR0001) so that we don’t limit our activities, it will continue to operate under the trade name of Malawi Water Project.
We were so pleased to receive a grant from the Alberta Community Initiatives International Development Grant from the Government of Alberta Culture and Tourism Department. We received the maximum amount which is $25,000. This will go a long way to support the Project in providing clean water and information on health and sanitation to remote villages.
One of our many accomplishments was the construction of a factory dedicated to biosand filter construction. This factory is a huge benefit to the Project because it also contains a training room, kitchen and an office.
We have established relationships which support sustainability and expand our impact. One example of these partnerships is with the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. In July, a group of its students came to us to learn how to construct and install the filters, and they also funded construction of 8 Malawi Water Project filters.
The students from Taiwan were appalled at the condition of the water that people were drinking during the dry season when the water table is low.
In September we held a 10 day training session on the biosand filter and on community health promotion. The training was a refresher course for our existing staff and initial training for new staff.
We try to teach children about proper sanitation and hygiene but it is so difficult for them to learn because they don’t have desks or chairs. They share a notebook and pencil.
There are routinely cholera outbreaks in various areas very close to our factory in Chikwawa, Southern Malawi.
We have been assisting a village that has worked hard to become cholera free. Delia Mtonyo is the Headwoman in her village.
Delia asked our team for help. Our biosand implementers delivered filters to her village and our Community Health Promoters held sessions on how to create a healthy environment in the village. The village began work on changing their behaviour in 2014 and from that time until today, they have not had a case of cholera. We held a celebration in Delia’s village and gave certificates and prizes to 10 winners who had won the healthy home competition.
We provided Delia the tools and the information she needed to create a healthy village and Delia has taken the information and acted on it. Her village will never look back – and now, Delia is being asked by other chiefs how she managed to change her village and she is helping them do the same.