Blantyre-based disaster relief organisation, Gift of the Givers Foundation has embarked on a water project that will see 23 boreholes valued at K31 million (about $77 500) sunk in Balaka District.
Gift of the Givers Foundation chairperson Abdul Gaffar Jakhura said his organisation observed that cases of water-borne diseases in Balaka were high due to water shortages that comes as a result of erratic rainfall patterns and the hot whether the district experiences annually.
“Our organisation responds to people who are plagued, displaced and in dire poverty. The Balaka issue touched us because we regard water as life, therefore, we felt compelled to come and give the people of this district a rescue,” said Jakhura.
“Women walk long distances to the nearest boreholes and wait on long queues to fetch water in all the areas we have targeted. As a result, women have involved their wards [children] in the process of drawing water, thereby denying them a chance to go to school,” he said.
Jakhura said the Japanese Government has pumped into his organisation a grant of K31 million meant to assist people from the grassroots.
“We will be able to construct 23 boreholes in 18 villages in five traditional authorities (T/As) namely Kalembo, Nsamala, Amidu, Kachenga and Chanthunya in the district. By completion, about 13 000 people living in the targeted communities will easily access safe and portable water.
T/A Nsamala commended the organisation for the gesture. He described the organisation’s initiative as a blessing.
“We are now liberated. The problem of water in Balaka is quite alarming. Year in, year out, women do scramble for water in shallow wells and we do drink water without any treatment. Sometimes, we share the same source with animals and also some women wash their baby`s nappies up stream thereby putting us at risky,” said Nsamala.
Among many activities, Gift of the Givers has constructed 1 700 boreholes in Malawi, which includes the ongoing project in Mwanza and Neno districts and the rehabilitation of 315 boreholes in Mchinji and Kasungu districts.