Safe drinking water and water for irrigation is a major challenge in Malawi. 81 percent of the 15 million people live in rural areas and only 57 percent have access to an improved water source. In rural areas many people have to walk 2-8 km daily to fetch water from an often unsafe source. This also means there are no irrigation possibilities. Hence, agricultural production is not developing. Even in towns, were people do have access to piped water, often this water is not safe and reliable. Access to water could be increased drastically but in many areas if low cost water options would be available.
2 main target groups are:
- Poor households, which have to invest in their own water solutions, but will receive new information/knowledge on low cost water options. They will also benefit from special payment options.
- Well diggers, masons, blacksmiths etc. will improve skills and extend their businesses.
Additional target groups (part of social marketing)
- Some communities may acquire new boreholes and pumps
- Some schools will be helped with water and sanitation
- At least 40 new companies (total staff at least 200 persons)
- Acces to improved water sources (more water, safe water) for at least 50.000 persons.
* 10.000 people access to a water filter
* 40.000 people access to (improved) water sources
- 100.000 people will have aquired better knowledge on Hygiene and low-cost water options
Approximately 2.000 school children will have access to safe water and sanitation
- A functional national service centre for low cost water options (WASCE)
This project has 3 main activities,
- Raise awareness on benefits of safe water and hygiene and information about low cost water options. The marketing will be on demand drivers like economic advantages, status, etc. and not on health aspects as was done traditionally.
- Developing and training the supply chain for low cost water options, including the establishment of a Watsan Centre of Excellence
- Strengthening the demand side for low cost water options by offering payment options for poor people
- More than 50.000 people will get access to improved water sources.
- The ultimate development objective is a nationwide sustainable supply chain and market for low cost water products which will give an impulse to economic growth, food production and better health. This market should serve the water needs of the poor and will enable low cost water producers and retailers to earn a living.
- 20 new companies trained on technical skills and bussiness development
- 20 retail companies supported to sell low-cost water options
- Provision of 2.000 water filters
- 1.000 improved water sources (wells, boreholes, pumps, etc)
- 100.000 people will receive information on hygiene and low cost water solutions
- Water and sanitation facilities for 5 schools
The project intends to come to economic independency on all levels: it aims to create a sustainable market where local entrepreneurs will sell to local people, who by investing in low cost water options, will improve their own income. The return on water investments on household level is often estimated as at least 8 to 1!!
WASCE will need support in the beginning, but will charge fees for services and will try to involve the government to take up responsibilities.
Institutional WASCE is an independent institute of the University of Mzuzu. This service centre functions on a semi-commercial basis, providing a set of (paid) services to local business people as well as to NGO’s and authorities. WASCE cooperates with the national government to develop policies that facilitate the introduction of low cost water options.
CCAP is the development branch of the Livingstonia Synod and has implemented many development projects in North Malawi. It is an experiended organisation with 18 field officers living and working in the project area. CCAP (and SWI) will participate in the implementation of the project, but will not generate a sustainable income with this project.
The low cost techniques that will be promoted through this project are very basic. Critical environmental problems are not expected.
CCAP (and SWI) work for international donor agencies. This project will not provide income generating activities for these organisations, Hence, they need to acquire new donor contracts to keep their organizations running.
Maintenance is first of all the responsibility of the people that will invest in low cost water options.
The focus on low cost solutions in practise means a focus on technology which can easily be taught to and replicated by other companies and persons in Malawi.
The self supply approach, in which people invest in their own water supply is certainly not against social norms. Yet, traditionally people often wait for NGO's or the government to provide water. In general all families want water as close to the house as possible and the new low cost options make this possible in many situations. By informing people on these new options and the high benefits of access to safe water this project aims to bring some change.