2019 – Disaster and Growth

2019 was truly an eventful year for the Malawi Water Project. Unfortunately, in early March, cyclone Idai struck the eastern coast of Mozambique and the southern part of Malawi. Our operations were halted while we provided emergency assistance to the people hit the hardest by the flooding including some of our biosand filter owners, whose mud houses completely collapsed. Attesting to their strength our concrete filters survived and only needed re-installation. Fortunately, our factory was not damaged including our solar panels which thankfully weathered the storm. Sarah our volunteer Country Director worked with the government health authorities to deliver blankets, water buckets, clothes, little clay stoves and food staples to those left homeless by the cyclone.

Sarah was able to act quickly to deliver many items to survivors of the cyclone

The villagers were very thankful for your support which helped them survive until they were able to get back on their feet.

Despite the setback of almost a month for the South Project, we can confidently report to you that the Malawi Water Project is making a significant impact in the health of people living in rural parts of Malawi. Our teams  have now installed over 2600 biosand water filters, providing clean water to over 20,000 people. As well, we have conducted numerous community health meetings which have provided education on proper sanitation and hygiene to over 14,000 people. 

This year our North team installed a number of filters in villages on Lake Malawi. Because there is a cliff behind the villages, borehole (well) drilling equipment cannot be brought by road and it is too heavy to bring by boat. That means that those living on the lake rely on the lake water for everything, including their drinking water.

The  biosand water filter ensures the lake water is clean for drinking and food preparation. That along with practicing proper sanitation and hygiene help the lake communities stay healthy.

Filters are delivered by boat and our team goes out with the filters to install them to teach families how to properly maintain their filter and improve their sanitation and hygiene practices. The filters along with training on sanitation and hygiene have been very effective, especially in those villages that have consistently suffered from outbreaks of cholera.

Delivering filters to a village on the lake that routinely suffers from cholera

Each year we increase the number of filters being produced and installed. The North team needed an expansion to their factory so that they can build filters in the rainy season. That extension is now almost complete.

Extension to the north factory almost finished

We have been able to successfully partner with a number of other organizations in Malawi. These include St. John, International. We worked with them to develop a Guidebook on sanitation and hygiene. We are also partnering with Luke International, a Taiwanese organization, and with Formidable Joy, a USA organization, who are helping to provide Biosand Filters to villagers living near Lake Malawi

This year we were fortunate to have a volunteer from Canada, Tom Smillie, who  visited both the North and South Project areas. He visited families who are part of our program and heard how much of a difference our involvement has made in their lives. Tom was able to meet with the team members and volunteers to thank them for their work.

Tom visiting a village with Sarah and Derlinie our Field Coordinator in the South

On behalf of the beneficiaries, our teams in Malawi, our local agents, and our board members in Canada, I would like to thank you for your kindness and continuous generosity in assisting the Malawi Water Project to help families who are in such need.  We have witnessed the gratitude of the families whose health has been significantly improved because of your caring and concern. YOU are part of the transformation that is truly making a difference.

A special acknowledgement to those of you who have donated through ATB
Cares. ATB Cares has provided a huge benefit in that they do not charge an
administrative fee for handling the donations and we frequently receive an
extra 15% of each donation from ATB Cares. We are not able to know who
made the donation unless you allow your name and comments to be shared. When
making a donation, please make sure your name and comments can be
shared. This information will only be shared with our charity, then I will be able to thank you individually.

-Helen-

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