Malawi 2017

Report on the trip to Malawi in 2017 by Duncan MacDonald and Derek McRae

Inverness Culloden Rotary Club - Global Grant Project Malawi

Following Derek and Duncan’s trip to the Mchinji District of Malawi to visit our ongoing water and sanitation project, here is a brief report of what has been achieved to date.  

For this, our second project in Malawi, club and private contributions came to more than £13000;  with the addition of the Global Grant the total project value was £48000.

The Rotary Foundation grant was awarded in July this year and work, undertaken by our contractor PumpAid and supervised by Lilongwe Rotary club, started soon after.

The current project consists of the digging of a well, installation of a pump and construction of two toilet blocks at each of 11 Community Based Childcare Centres (CBCCs).  These are in effect nursery classes for under 6s.

 Also, each toilet block has a hand washing facility as does the nearby classroom.

 The wells and pumps were all completed and the toilet and hand-washing construction was well on its way when they visited.

Near to each pump the community were required to fence off and construct a nutrition/vegetable garden for the children – PumpAid supplied them with seeds for tomatoes, rape seed, mustard plant and pak choi.

Any excess vegetable production would be sold as part of the fund-raising required from each community.

PumpAid have recently added to their water and sanitation package a mandatory training session for around 2 dozen members of the community.  No construction work would be undertaken unless the community agreed to this and to the provision of all bricks required for well and toilet construction.  These bricks are made locally at each village.

The training sessions are undertaken by Mchinji District officers from the departments responsible for health, agriculture and business development.

The local adults – caregivers - who teach the nursery children  are unpaid and typically have the children for about 3 hours each morning. An average of 100 children attend the CBCCs and are looked after by anything between 3 and 5 caregivers.

The emphasis at all times is on using the toilet followed by hand washing– open-defecation is constantly being discouraged.  At the end of the morning class the children are fed a maize porridge – again, before eating, hand washing is mandatory.

On their visit they took out several donated second hand mobile phones and used these to barter for paintings etc which we will then auction/sell to help fund our next project.

Whilst there Derek and Duncan had discussions with our project partners (PumpAid and Lilongwe Rotary club) in connection with our next project in 3 to 4 years time.   They ascertained that this would almost certainly be in the same District – about an hour and a half from Lilongwe – and involving the same type of project.

A small memento of their visit – one of the paintings – was sent to each Rotary club and personal contributor to the current project in recognition of their contribution to the project.  Our club would take several years to raise these funds on our own and would of course be delighted if they or any other club wished to join us again for our next project.

A few photographs attached show the well digging, pump installation, toilets and hand washing, nutrition garden and a typical classroom.

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