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  • Rachel Park

Access to clean water is a RIGHT!

You probably know that we’ve been trying for the past year to get water to our school and community grounds via a borehole. The cost for a borehole to be drilled is £3000 and although we tried our best, this amount was out of our reach after we have paid for teachers, text books, food and all the other costs that come with running a school, community centre, kitchen and gardens.

A new idea was proposed to us by a business that had knowledge in this area, for a much cheaper borehole that could be hand dug. The work started and everyone in the community turned up with shovels in hand. But the realisation soon hit us... this work is too dangerous. The soil was sandy and unstable, the borehole would need to be at least 20ft deep. A community meeting was called and a decision quickly made, putting one single person in harms way goes against everything we stand for as a community. We applied again, unsuccessfully, for more funding to help us get a borehole drill. It was so frustrating.

Clean water which so many of us take for granted, a fundamental human right, and we couldn’t give that to our community. The need for this type of funding is so high in Malawi and we hold no resentment to those that couldn’t approve our grant. Although our children have to walk a mile for water, others have to go much much further.

While we were fighting for access to clean water, the world was fighting to protect one another from the pandemic. The decline in tourism in Malawi has hit everyone hard. There are no more tourist to fill the hotels and lodges along the lake. But with this came a surprising opportunity for us. While the tourist lodge next door to our site was closed for business, they decided to upgrade their water system, laying new pipes across their land. With the water board workers just a hundred metres away from us, we jumped into negotiations to have a tap branching off onto our land. And we got one!

A CLEAN WATER tap now sits right between our community centre and sports grounds.


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