© 2012 AID AFRICA  UK Registered Charity Number 1116336

Serving the most vulnerable      in rural Malawi


Summer Report 2016

including February-May trip


Monjo is a huge rural primary school with 1254 students, from 3 villages, aged between 6 -17 years.

We were approached by the Head Teacher, for help to create a constant water supply by connecting a donated 5,000ltr storage tank, to the local community water pipeline, and supplying a new tap. Unfortunately, the tank didn’t come with the parts to connect it, and was at risk of being repossessed if not installed.

Hunger and malnutrition are common here, so each student is given a porridge breakfast at the beginning of every school day. Erratic water supply placed a huge strain on the school curriculum to cook for so many, wash children’s hands and equipment/utensils, ready for morning Assembly.

Originally, there was one tap shared by the school and local community, but in the dry season it tended to run dry, so the school needed a storage tank to hold and manage its own water supply on site.

Monjo Lea Primary School

The cost of building the tower to mount the tank and all pipes, labour and fixings was way beyond the ability of even an enthusiastic Head Master & actively supportive parents to raise, though they had already moulded and burnt bricks for the tower, and brought in river sand ready for the build.

Dave surveyed the area, made suggestions about location of the tower and tap, and the work began.

Finding the right plumbing fittings was challenging, making the job so much longer, but the day before we left, the first water from the tank started to flow through the new pipeline to the tap, conveniently placed next to the kitchen and canteen. Despite the cement apron around the tap just being finished that morning, we were all delighted —and a little relieved—to see the water flow freely at such good pressure.

This is huge in the “development” world, and has already drawn teacher-training students to study it as an example of local pro-active success.           


Pretty impressive for

our area!

Borehole Pump repair

“Water is life” is a common retort in Malawi, and of course it’s true.  When a borehole pump breaks down, women can only queue for hours at another borehole for each bucketful, or use potentially polluted water from rivers.  This can go on for years as there’s rarely any resources locally to fix the pump.

Chabe Village Borehole

Chatawo Village Borehole

Namba Village Borehole

This trip we repaired 6 borehole pumps - restoring clean, safe, local water to over 20,000 people - including those in Nakholo. Chiduba and Bongwe Villages

Imagine living without light in your home.  

Many in Malawi experience this for almost 12 hours each day, without a hint of ambient light. They may have a cheap torch, but struggle to afford batteries, or use dangerous paraffin lamps, but that’s even more expensive.

So we’re considering the possibility of lighting homes with small solar units—after research, we bought 50 panel/bulb units to test locally. Staff members are proving them out. If these particular units are successful, then we’d like to roll them out to hundreds of vulnerable homes, and possibly students for home study. If not, we need to investigate further for alternative designs and suppliers.

Our Education Sponsorship Programme is still supporting over 70 Secondary School students, and a new plan has been put in place to more closely monitor their behaviour/achievement—to encourage positive results.

There are hardly any jobs or employment apart from occasional piecework digging other peoples’ fields, so we’re keen to try to stir the local economy by empowering the establishment of small businesses.

The main difficulty for villagers in setting up a business is financing capital, so we issued 14 more loans, assessed as potentially sustainable, which included: trading in fish, maize, rice, goats, chickens, cooking oil, & bananas.  As yet, no-one has come forward with a business plan based on manufacturing, which is what we’d particularly like to encourage.  But during the hunger period the local economy is flat so a product would need to be suitable for sale in the city.

All those due to begin repaying their loans as per their Loan Agreements have done so, the plan is to complete by November, before the serious hunger period begins. Most of the businesses will have to change tack at that point and invest into slow growth areas, i.e. pigs to protect capital till the market picks up again next year.

Solar lighting



Income Generating Activities

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Opening Ceremony -

1st July 2016

The “Opening Ceremony” took place at the beginning of July . Local dignitaries and the community celebrated the installation of the tank together.

This construction changed lives!

Left: Explaining the project to the dignitaries …

Above::The keys for the tap handed over….