The vast majority of the population in Malawi rely exclusively on firewood for cooking and purifying their drinking water, which has wide-reaching environmental, social and economic impacts. Furthermore, Malawi’s vulnerability to climate change, and the rise of extreme weather events such as droughts has placed additional pressure on safe water access for local communities.
For this reason, the provision of a safe and reliable groundwater water supply has multiple positive impacts on communities including reducing the need to use firewood for water purification, reducing smoke related health risks created by the use of traditional three stone fires, and improving gender equality by reducing the amount of time women spend collecting water.
The project provides rural water supply in the Dowa and Kasungu Districts in Central Malawi. The project is located in particularly dry areas which lack access to safe water sources, where new hand pumped boreholes have been drilled or existing pumps rehabilitated.
CO2balance works with a large international NGO in Malawi to implement the project in alignment with public needs with a strong focus on community engagement and empowerment. In addition to providing safe water supply, water quality testing and training local water resource committees on basic maintenance, our partners use creative ways such as theatre performance and practical workshops to educate the rural population in Dowa and Kasungu on the importance and reasons for appropriate sanitation and hygiene. In a country where 56% of the population does not have access to basic sanitation services such as latrines, this work is very important to reduce the spread of diseases and improve health and wellbeing.