© 2012 AID AFRICA  UK Registered Charity Number 1116336

Serving the most vulnerable      in rural Malawi

Winter Report 2019

including Sept-Nov trip…..

COMMUNITY - Water Pipelines

Improving water supply is a constant battle waged by The Chiringa Water Users’ Association  (WUA),  and this major programme involved hundreds of local people contributing to their villages’ welfare.

Alongside the new infrastructure, they’re determined to plant trees to mitigate evaporation, and are invoking bye-laws and mounting guards to protect the established mountainside woodlands.

They’ll be responsible for checking pipelines and maintaining stock,

financed by a small amount from each household towards maintenance.

This major programme was worked in conjunction with WUA (The Chiringa Water Users’ Association), managed and overseen by Open Hand Projects’ staff, and primarily funded by Wilmslow Wells for Africa.

The project comprised of 3 elements:

  1. The upgrading of a pipeline to Mtikhe Village, which included Makuluni, Thom and Matope Villages, too.  

  1. Construction of a new pipeline to the busy Gogo Nazombe Health Centre—the main gov. health-care provider, the only one with a free service in an area of severe, widespread poverty,  Before this work, the facility’s only water supply was a poorly working borehole, (which we repaired).

  1. The completion of a brick tower to support 2 x 5,000 ltr water tanks already donated. This benefited 8 villages (2000 households), as well as the Trading Centre.

(Above) The WUA committee transport the pipes and other materials to site - by pushbike, wheelbarrow, or on foot….

2. Constructing a new water pipeline to Gogo Nazombe Health Centre

The Centre is always overwhelmed with families in need of medical assistance, treatment or advice, and has never had piped water for the staff, visitors or local households to drink, take tablets, nor even to wash hands!

During October, the work began with 40 people digging the main pipe trenches for 1.9km across the open land, then volunteers from the local villages hoed out the smaller feeder trenches.

In the meantime, 5 standpipes with cement aprons were constructed, 2 close to the Centre, and another 3 in Khulumula, Muwake and Kaiti Villages along the way….

WUA estimate this initiative benefited 5,800 people.

Water infrastructure programme

Gogo Nazombe line

Mtikhe line

Water tower

1.  Upgrading of the Mtikhe Pipeline

Some of the communities along this line had intermittent water through an existing pipeline, but the pipes were inadequate and the pressure poor. This often resulted in breaking pipes or using potentially polluted water from other sources.

So the plan was to upgrade the current line, and extend to other areas. 15 men were employed to dig the main pipe trenches, then village volunteers dug those local to the new standpipes, and filled in after the pipes were laid.

Four new taps were erected, for Mtikhe, Matope, Thom, & Makuluni Villages -  each with a cement apron—a new experience for hundreds of families who have never had piped water before!

The total households benefiting = 933

(Above) Mtikhe’s water supply before the scheme, a broken pipe

(Below) Mtikhe Village, with new tap placed and working, on a new cement apron.  

In the background you can see the Community Centre we built in 2015 to house the nursery school, and still remains the main gathering place for all social, health, and civic functions.


Nazombe Health Centre (in the background) and its new tap almost ready to use….


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The final part of the water programme was WUA’s plans to promote and equip village committees to become actively involved in reforestation, recognising tree loss as a contributory factor to local environmental instability. They’d already sown 1300 tree seeds, made compost pits to help with planting and begun to sensitise and organise committees of volunteers to plant thousands of trees suitable for fuel, nutrition and soil enrichment. We had a further 4,500 mixed tree seedlings to back them up from our own tree nursery, but they took a different path so we distributed our seedlings elsewhere.


(Above)  Typical terrain the pipelines passed through….

(Below) Thom Village now has a tap, to the delight of villagers who have never had a water source in their village before!

Makuluni Village now has a tap and local access to water - lives are transformed as women have more time for their families!

The brick tower to carry the two donated tanks had been partly-built, but was abandoned when the original donors left, and the local community couldn’t complete the project to mount the tanks.

It was expected that this important resource would boost water pressure, improve flow, and drastically reduce the congestion of people waiting in already existing water drawing points in 8 villages (2000 households) along with the local Trading Centre—the main market/business area.

WUA estimated that over 12,000 people benefited


Kaiti Village’s new tap  -

and some of its delighted villagers.