August 30, 2016

Africa Roots for Tracking Progress on Water-Related SDGs as the 2016 World Water Week Begins

PAMACC
August 30, 2016

The need for action on the implementation the Sustainable Development Goals as well as tracking progress on water-related SDGs dominated the opening plenary of the 2016 World Water Week which began earlier today in Stockholm, Sweden.

“It is time to turn commitment into action.” With these words, the Swedish minister for foreign affairs, Margot Wallstrom, reaffirmed the sense of determination that characterized the opening plenary.

According to her, the significance of water issues stretches far beyond being just question about water but also about the potential benefits for women and girls, in terms of health aspects as well as freeing up time for school work and employment.

“I would very much like to see more men in developing countries take part in fetching water as that will start changing things and speed up development.” Wallström added.

Engr Gerson Lwenge, Tanzanian minister for water resources and irrigation and President of the African Minster’s Council on Water (AMCOW)

Engr Gerson Lwenge, Tanzanian minister for water resources and irrigation and President of the African Minster’s Council on Water (AMCOW)

In his premiere address at the global water event, Engr Gerson Lwenge, Tanzanian minister for water resources and irrigation and President of the African Minster’s Council on Water (AMCOW) drew parallels between the theme of this year’s World Water Week, “Water for sustainable growth” and the outcome of the recently concluded 6th Africa Water Week which firmly established Africa’s roadmap to achieving the SDG-8 as well as other interlinking SDGs connected with water resources management and improved sanitation delivery.

“Our commitment to achieving an Africa where there is equitable and sustainable use and management of water resources for poverty alleviation and socio-economic development, regional cooperation and the environment remains unwavering and that is why we have established a Pan African monitoring and reporting system capable of informing policy and tracking progress on the SDGs in Africa,” Engr Lwenge said.

The AMCOW president who led a delegation of African water ministers to Stockholm declared that “Africa is already linking the monitoring and reporting processes from member-states to sub-regional, continental and even global levels to reduce the burden and duplication of monitoring efforts at various levels by making information generation, assessment and dissemination easy for all stakeholders in the continent.”

Torgny Holmgren SIWI Executive Director

Torgny Holmgren SIWI Executive Director

The Executive Director of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and organisers of the World Water Week, Torgny Holmgren, noted that 2015 was a year of several global decisions and agreements that will guide development efforts for decades to come.

“With a Sustainable Development Goal dedicated to water and sanitation, several other goals, which depend on reliable access to water to be achieved and also the Paris climate agreement, water will not only be an integral part of both mitigation and adaptation efforts but will continue to determine the parameters for inclusive, sustainable growth, full and productive employment,” Holmgren says.

Holmgren believes that this year is when efforts to put words into action start as all initiatives, large and small, from all actors, will need to be considered.

“We must be open to unconventional alliances. We can only reach the goals we set for ourselves if we are serious about collaboration, about doing it together and breaking new ground. This is what I hope to see at World Water Week: the creation of new partnerships, the seeds for innovative solutions, the welcoming of out-of-the-box thinking,” the SIWI Executive Director added.

Angel Gurria, the Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) touched on financing during his speech, taking the opportunity to introduce his organisation’s recent reports and initiatives, many of them addressing water financing. He also commended the lengthy work leading to water being recognised as a universal concern, most notably as part of the SDGs but stressed that agreeing on that something have to be done is far from satisfying. On what should be the next step, Angel Gurria declared: “implementation, implementation, implementation – although not necessarily in that order.”

Hosted and organized by SIWI, World Water Week in Stockholm is the leading annual global event for concretely addressing the planet’s water issues and related concerns of international development. The 2016 World Water Week which explores the theme “Water for Sustainable Growth” will end on the 2nd of September 2016.

August 30, 2016

Nigeria: 60 Houses Submerge In Kaduna Communities

Mohammad Ibrahim
August 30, 2016

One of the households affected by floods in Kaduna

One of the households affected by floods in Kaduna

About 60 houses were submerged by flood in Kaduna communities as a result of heavy rainfall which occurred as a result of long hours of heavy downpour that started on Friday morning till evening of that day.

The flood affected houses, schools and shops within the state metropolis including Hayin Dan Mani, Hayin Bello new extension, Abubakar Kigo road new extension, Barnawa, Narayi , Romi, Kinkino and Kurmin Mashi among others.

The flood occurred weeks after the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA warned that floods will likely occur in eight major rivers and their tributaries in the course of 2016.

It was reported that the Director-General of the agency, Dr Moses Beckley, gave the warning at the presentation of the 2016 Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) in Abuja Nigeria’s capital in July 2016.

Beckley listed the rivers as Niger, Benue, Sokoto-Rima, Anambra-Imo, Cross River, Niger Delta, Komadougu-Yobe, Ogun-Osun and several other sub-basins of the country.

It was gathered that the Kaduna flood forced hundreds of people out of their homes as a result of the flood while the roads too were covered by water making it difficult for residents to evacuate their properties.

Most of the affected houses are located near the bank of River Kaduna and those built without drainage or with blocked drainages.

Similarly, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) weeks ago raised alarm that eight LGs in the state were likely to experience flood; thereby warning residents close to river banks and flood prone areas to vacate for their safety.

Kaduna State Emergency Management SEMA already sent their staff to assess the extent of damage caused by the flood.

The Executive Secretary of SEMA, Ezekiel Baba Karik said so far about 60 houses were affected by the flood.

“The flood was mild below what we expected based on NEIMET prediction. Few houses within Kaduna metropolis and Kafanchan were affected. We are still assessing the extent of damage but the houses will not be more than 60 because the water came and passed. Water will always find its way,” he said.

According to him, the flood was caused by human induced factors including lack of proper drainage and blocked drainages among others. “Most of the affected victims are already taking their properties back to their houses because the water level has gone down,” he said.

August 30, 2016

2016 World Water Week opens in Stockholm

Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
August 30, 2016

Leaders and experts in the water, climate and development communities have gathered in Stockholm to discuss how water can enable the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Under the theme Water for Sustainable Growth, some 3,000 people from over 120 countries are meeting in Stockholm this week for the 26th annual World Water Week. With water crises being listed as one of the top global risks in the coming years by the World Economic Forum, and a rapidly growing world population putting pressure on scarce water resources, seeking solutions to the world’s many complex water challenges is becoming ever more urgent for the researchers, policy-makers, and representatives of civil society and the private sector meeting in Stockholm.

Mr. Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of Stockholm International Water Institute

Mr. Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of Stockholm International Water Institute

Opening the Week, Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director of the organizer, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) said: “Without reliable access to water, almost no Sustainable Development Goal will be achieved. To make that happen, we must ensure water’s centrality to the entire Agenda 2030. This will show the power water has a connector.”

“Water connects not only sectors, but also nations, communities and different actors. Water can be the unifying power, the enabler for progress in both Agenda 2030 and the Paris climate agreement”, said Holmgren.

The Mayor of Stockholm, Karin Wanngård, underlined the role cities need to play in realizing the development agenda. “Cities represent a large portion of future growth. We have the job growth, the universities, the creative ideas. We also face the biggest emissions, the social problems, and housing shortage. Our participation in the struggle for sustainable solutions is key for global success. And that means a growing responsibility, a moral responsibility towards future generations and their ability to live in cities where it is possible to work, live in security, breathe the air and drink the water.”

Addressing the opening session, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström reinforced the message that water is a connector and an enabler in realizing the SDGs. “Successful realization of Goal 6 of the 2030 Agenda will underpin progress across many of the other goals, particularly on nutrition, child health, education, gender equality, healthy cities and healthy water ecosystems and oceans.”

The Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Angel Gurría, said that water, from having been a subject that was rarely discussed with urgency, has come to the front and centre of international deliberations. “Water now has the place it needs to have in international priorities”, said Gurría.

Today, Tuesday 30 August, the Stockholm Junior Water Prize will be awarded to one national team out of the 29 competing nations by H.R.H. Prince Carl Philip of Sweden.

On Wednesday 31 August, the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize will be awarded to Joan Rose, for her tireless contributions to global public health; by assessing risks to human health in water and creating guidelines and tools for decision-makers and communities to improve global wellbeing. The prize will be awarded to Joan Rose by H.M. Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, during a ceremony in Stockholm City Hall.

August 29, 2016

Water and Climate Experts Call For Green Water Initiative in Africa

Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
August 29, 2016

World Water Week has been the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues since 1991. Image by : http://www.washadvocates.org

World Water Week has been an annual focal point for the globe’s water issues since 1991. Image by : http://www.washadvocates.org

Water and climate experts yesterday called for a Green Water Initiative, as part of a Water Revolution in Africa, a necessity, they said, for alleviating hunger on the continent and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

At the onset of World Water Week, a group of world-renowned hydro-climate experts said that rainwater harvesting and other green water management methods, are key to alleviating hunger in sub-Saharan Africa and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

Green water is the part of the rain that infiltrates into, and is stored in, the soil.

“Large parts of the world are struggling to adapt to a drier reality, but challenges are especially dire in Africa’s drylands. Africa’s climate is its Achilles Heel”, said Professor Malin Falkenmark, Senior Scientific Advisor to Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

In the water-scarce regions of sub-Saharan Africa (mainly consisting of savannah), direct management of scarce rainfall must form an integral part of the development agenda, said the group, which includes Malin Falkenmark, Johan Rockström, Johan Kuylenstierna, Charles J. Vörösmarty, Torgny Holmgren, and Fred Boltz, during Sunday’s Malin Falkenmark Symposium at World Water Week.

The vast drylands encircling the Congo Basin are home to some 750 million people, a number that is expected to increase to 1.6 billion in the next 35 years. Meanwhile, agricultural yields in this region are very low, on average around one tonne per hectare, as a result of frequent droughts.

The group said that to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture), Africa needs a Triple Green Revolution: green for productive use of green water, green for intensification and enhanced food production, and green for sustainability and building water resilience in watersheds.

Rain, the scientists said, is the ultimate water source in dryland agriculture, as the limited blue water (such as rivers and streams) will be needed for increased urban water supply, industry and energy production.

Water is an important resource and is used in many different ways.

Water is an important resource and is used in many different ways.

They suggest rainwater harvesting systems that can offer supplementary irrigation, harvested from slopes and valley bottoms and stored in ponds or dams for use during dry spells and drought periods.

To finance the initiative, the group proposed a Water Harvesting Innovation Fund for Africa, to build water resilience for food security and human well-being.

“Initiatives like the Green Water Initiative in Africa, within the framework of the 2030 Agenda is of great importance if we will have any chance of realizing the Sustainable Development Goals. I hope to see some concrete response to this call,” said SIWI’s Executive Director Torgny Holmgren.

The group behind the call include:
Malin Falkenmark, Stockholm International Water Institute and Stockholm Resilience Centre;
Johan Rockström, Stockholm Resilience Centre;
Johan Kuylenstierna, Stockholm Environment Institute;
Charles J. Vörösmarty, CUNY Advanced Science Research Center;
Torgny Holmgren, Stockholm International Water Institute; and
Fred Boltz, The Rockefeller Foundation

World Water Week, the leading annual global meeting for water and development issues, is hosted by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). It welcomes over some 3,000 participants from over 120 countries, who gather to discuss global and local water and development challenge.

August 24, 2016

Ethiopia: Data Farming – How Ethiopian Farmers Harvest Data to Help Their Crops

UPGro
August 24, 2016

What’s the weather doing? It’s a question that obsesses many but for many Ethiopians it is question that makes the difference between plenty and destitution. Ethiopia is a rich and diverse country that is home to around 100 million people, 88 different languages and imbued with long, diverse history. Its highlands are seasonally wet and fertile and its lowland deserts are among the most parched places on Earth.

Dangila woreda, or district, is a hilly area in the north west of the country with a population of around 160,000 people spread across an area of about 900 km2. Although the area receives rainfall at around 1,600mm a year, over 90% of this falls between May and October. For farmers, who depend on livestock and rainfed crops, understanding and predicting these rains is crucial to their livelihoods. Traditional strategies, which have served for millennia, are coming under threat from new pressures of shifting climate patterns, land degradation and population growth.

Exactly what is happening now and what is likely to happen in the future is uncertain due to the lack of rainfall, river flow and groundwater level data. Throughout much of Sub-Saharan Africa, under-investment by governments has led to a widespread decline in environmental monitoring, and this in turn makes water resources management harder and harder.

Community River monitoring in Dangila woreda, Ethopia (D. Walker, Newcastle University)

Community River monitoring in Dangila woreda, Ethopia (D. Walker, Newcastle University)

But what if those who stood to gain most from better understanding and management of water resources were those leading the data collection? Can communities reliably collect accurate weather, river and groundwater data? This is the question that is being investigated by researchers, led by Newcastle University in the UK through an UPGro-supported project called AMGRAF ).

In a new paper in the Journal of Hydrology , David Walker and his colleagues explain why they think citizen science has a future in rural Ethiopia and beyond:

“The benefits of community involvement in science are being slowly recognised across many fields, in large part because it helps build public understanding of science, ownership and pride in the results, and this can benefit both individuals and local planning processes,” said Walker. “Because there are so few formal monitoring stations and such large areas that need to be understood and managed, we need to think differently about how data collection can be done.”

The community-based monitoring programme was started in February 2014 and residents of an area called Dangesheta were involved in the siting new rain and river gauges, and identifying wells that were suitable to be monitored. Five wells are manually dipped every two days, with a deep meter to measure the depth from the ground surface and the water level in the well; a rain gauge was installed in the smallholding of a resident who then took measurements every day at 9am; two river gauge boards were installed in the Kilti and Brante rivers and were monitored daily at 6am and 6pm.

Every month, the volunteers would then give their hard copy records to the Dangila woreda government office, who then typed them into an Excel spreadsheet and emailed to the research team.

But is this data any good? For David and his colleagues, this was a critical question that could make or break the whole approach. The challenges of data validation are substantial, and there are generally two types of error:
Sampling errors come from the variability of rainfall, river flow and groundwater level over time and over area. The sampling error increases with rainfall and decreases with increased gauge density. A challenge in tropical areas, such as Ethiopia, is much of the rain is high-intensity thunderstorms, which can be quite short in duration and small in size, and therefore easy to miss, or only partially record, if the density of monitoring stations is low.

Observational errors are the second type, and can come from a number of things: wind turbulence, splashing around the gauge, evaporation can affect how much is in the rain gauge, and then the observer might not read the gauge accurately or make a mistake or unclear notation, when writing the measurement down.

“Tracking down errors is tricky, but it can be done, mainly through statistical comparison with established monitoring stations and with each other,” said Walker. “What we found was that the community collected data is more reliable than that gathered through remote sensing instruments from satellites.”

It is hoped that this promising approach can attract further support and be used more widely, but what are the secrets, and challenges, to making community monitoring work?

“People are at the heart of this process and selection of volunteers is crucial to avoid problems with data falsification or vandalism,” concluded Walker. “Feedback is absolutely vital and through workshops and meetings the data can be presented and analysed with the community so that they can make decisions on how best use the available rainfall, river flows, and groundwater to provide secure sources of water for their farms and their homes.”

August 24, 2016

Africa Groundwater Atlas: “X” Marks the Spot, But Where’s The Map?

UPGro
August 24, 2016

Africa Groundwater Atlas overview

Africa Groundwater Atlas overview

Drilling for water is a fraught business in Africa – like being a pirate without a treasure map. In many areas, the rock is old – some of the oldest on our planet.

This cracked, shattered stone that is blasted by desert heat or soaked in tropical rains with often only a thin covering of rust-stained soil, can hold substantial amounts of water, but a driller needs to know where to look and the skill to develop a water source that will last. A metre or two can make the difference between a dry hole and a well that could supply a village or a farm for a lifetime.

The good news is that in many parts of Africa, there is more groundwater available close to most areas where it is needed and the potential to store more with land use or technology changes. Currently, groundwater is an underused natural resource in much of Africa – where water insecurity is rife and drought is currently threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in southern and eastern Africa.

For once, there may even be a rare silver lining to climate change – as it appears that in some environments groundwater recharge happens more readily when rainfall intensity is high . Thus understanding and managing Africa’s aquifers should be central to poverty alleviation and climate resilience strategies.

A challenge up until now has been the lack of easily available groundwater information:
“When you drill a borehole in the UK, there are incredibly detailed maps and borehole logs [registered with the British Geological Survey (BGS)] to help you decide where to drill,” said Sean Furey, a water and sanitation specialist at Skat told The Guardian . “Even in countries where a similar organisation exists, that sort of data isn’t available because NGOs, the private sector or even governments who commission boreholes aren’t aware that they need to submit their drilling logs.”

In May, the Africa Groundwater Atlas was launched and is a major step forward in addressing this information gap.

The British Geological Survey has developed the Atlas in partnership with the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) Burdon Groundwater Network for Developing Countries, and with more than 50 collaborating groundwater experts across Africa.

For each of 51 African countries, the Africa Groundwater Atlas provides new overview geology and hydrogeology maps and summaries of the key geological environments and aquifers in each country.

There are sections on groundwater status, use and management, including groundwater monitoring, with up to date information on the national organisations involved in groundwater development and management. There is supporting material on geographical setting, climate, surface water, soil and land cover, with accompanying maps; and finally, there are references and links to more detailed information for those wishing to find out more.

Accompanying pages highlight important issues related to African groundwater, such as recharge, groundwater development techniques and transboundary aquifers; with links to sources of further information.

Also available is the Africa Groundwater Literature Archive, which enables users to search (geographically and by keyword) and freely access thousands of articles, reports and other documents about African groundwater.

The Africa Groundwater Atlas is still being developed. Some of the pages still have limited information, and for many others there may be more details to be added or updates to be made – and there is still a need for country-level collection of borehole logs. However, if you are working in Africa on rural or urban water supply, water resources, environmental protection, agriculture, mining or forestry, you should bookmark the Atlas in your web browser today.

We can’t tell you if X marks the spot of the hidden treasure you are looking for – but at least now you have a map.

August 23, 2016

Nigeria: WaterAid Nigeria Launches New 5 Year Country Programme Strategy to Support Universal Access to WASH Services for Nigeria By 2030

Aaron Kaah Yancho
August 23, 2016

The WaterAid Nigeria has launched its 2016 – 2021 country programme strategy – laying the foundation for the fifteen year path to achieving universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene for everyone everywhere in Nigeria by 2030.

Over the next five years, the organisation will focus on increasing citizens’ access to quality, equitable and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services built on a strong sector and engaged communities.

Globally, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target for drinking water was met five years ahead of the 2015 schedule. However, billions of people – at least 1 in 3 – still live without a decent toilet.

Despite documented progress of people having improved access to water in Nigeria, the country failed to meet the MDG targets for both water and sanitation and consequently, nearly 45,000 children under the age of five in Nigeria still die from diarrhoeal diseases caused by the nation’s poor levels of access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

Unclean water and a lack of basic sanitation are undermining efforts to end extreme poverty and disease in Africa.

Unclean water and a lack of basic sanitation are undermining efforts to end extreme poverty and disease in Africa.

Although the 2015 WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) shows an increase in water coverage for Nigeria from 40% in 1990 to 69% in 2015, the percentage of the population without access to sanitation is falling – from 38% in 1990 to just 29% in 2015.

This wholly unacceptable situation causes untold suffering, affecting human and sustainable development, particularly in the lives of women – who carry the burden of fetching water and caring for sick children; and for girls – who may be forced to miss school because of the absence of toilets there, thus limiting their exposure to education and consequently, opportunities to make choices that could help them overcome lives of poverty.

The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) give hope for tackling the WASH crisis in Nigeria as the country is signed up to achieving these Global Goals. WaterAid Nigeria launches its new strategy with a commitment to seizing this historic opportunity to tackle the underlying causes of poverty and inequality and to accelerate transformational change through a shared vision of universal access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

Speaking on the new strategy, WaterAid Nigeria Country Director, Dr. Michael Ojo said:
“Our new strategy is an ambitious and challenging one but we look forward to an exciting journey that will impact positively on child health, education, livelihoods, the environment and addressing poverty and inequalities. Our strategic objectives target strengthening systems to reduce WASH sector blockages; empowering citizens to demand their rights and participate in WASH decision-making and strengthening partnerships to influence the WASH sector and increase access to sustainable WASH services. We will continue to work with the government, colleagues in the development sector and through our partners, to ensure universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene for all in Nigeria by 2030.”

WaterAid International’s Chief Executive, Barbara Frost, who is on a working visit to the country, added that: “WaterAid Nigeria’s 2016-2021 Strategy is a monumental and impressive roadmap to changing the course of history and reaching those who are poorest and most vulnerable in Nigeria with safe water, sanitation and hygiene. These life-saving and essential services are fundamental to both human and national development and delivering on them will transform the lives of millions of Nigerians. Achieving universal access for all in Nigeria is possible with the right political commitment, funding, collaborations and innovative thinking.”

Mariame Dem, Head of Region, WaterAid West Africa said, “WaterAid Nigeria has a crucial role to play in achieving universal access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for all Nigerians by 2030. Getting it right in Nigeria will make a huge impact on improving WASH access rates not just for the region but for Africa as a whole. Nigeria must live up to its status as the giant of Africa and leverage on the enormous potential and opportunities within the country to make some real progress for all Nigerians in this area.”

Since its inception in Nigeria in 1995, WaterAid Nigeria has grown from a small organisation located in one state to an attractive national brand. Innovative and internationally tested programme delivery approaches have contributed to quality programming both on the demand and supply sides of WASH services at national, state and local government levels. Millions of Nigerians have benefitted directly from our provision of WASH infrastructure in communities. Still many more, from access to WASH facilities provided indirectly through our collaboration and assistance to government and other stakeholders.

August 16, 2016

Nigeria: President Buhari Urges International Communities to Save Lake Chad from Extinction

Mohammad Ibrahim
August 16, 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has urged rich countries to do something urgent to save the Lake Chad from extinction, arising from effects of climate change.

Receiving the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, in Abuja, President Buhari warned that failure to regenerate the Lake Chad will lead to another round of migration by people living in the areas.

The President, who led seven ministers to an interactive meeting with the UNESCO chief, said Nigeria and the other countries of the Lake Chad Basin lacked the billions of dollars required to channel water from the Congo Basin into the lake to check its rapid depletion.

Senior Special Assistance to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu disclosed this in a statement.

“Those living in the Lake Chad region have suffered untold hardship and displacement because of the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists.

‘‘If there is no farming and fishing, they will dare the desert to migrate.

“Unless the developed countries make concerted efforts to complete the feasibility study, mobilize resources and technology to start the water transfer from the Congo Basin, the Lake Chad will dry up.

‘‘The people will go somewhere and they will create problems for those countries,” the President told the visiting UN official.

President Buhari commended UNESCO’s support to Nigeria particularly on the ongoing rehabilitation work in the North East and reintegration of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

He said the pathetic situation of IDPs requires immediate and urgent response from international organisations such as UNSECO to provide infrastructure, health and education for the people in the area.

The UNESCO Director-General, Mrs. Bokova, who commenced a week-long visit to West and Central Africa on August 6, said she was in Nigeria to strengthen the organization’s programme in the areas of science and technology, gender and youth development, culture, water resources development, health and environment.

August 16, 2016

Nigeria: Kakura Residents Laments Lack of Portable Drinking Water

Mohammad Ibrahim
August 16, 2016

Residents of Kakura community in Chikun Local government Area of Kaduna State northwest are lamenting lack of portable water within their village despite their closeness to the city.

The people drink from a pond covered with dirts particularly during dried season.

A visit by water Journalists Africa reporter to the village with about 1000 inhabitants discovered that the community lacks access to good and clean water to drink.

Woman fetching water to drink from a pond covered with dirt

Woman fetching water to drink from a pond covered with dirt

Lamenting on the issue, the Village head, Ishaya Gwamna said in rainy reason all well in the village get dried off.

” We do suffered a lot during dried season because all wells within the village get dried off. The only borehole provided to us by an NGO in year 2000 has stopped working.

“Now our women fetched water from well but as soon as the rain stop they move to the pond to fetch water,” he said.

Another Community Leader Sunday Kakura said they are not happy drinking from a pond shared by people and cows.

“We have no option but to drink from same pond because we just have to survive. But we need assistance from any individual to provide us with boreholes in the village. We are subsistence farmers and need government intervention in our village,” he said.

The village head Ishaya Gwamna also expressed sadness with regards to lack of portable water for his people.

“We vote during elections because politicians do come to seek for our votes. But they never fulfilled their promises to us.

“We are appealing to philanthropists, other agencies and even the state government to provide us with primary health care center where our women and children can access health care. We equally need drinking water in the community which is a big challenge to us,” he said.

August 3, 2016

Malawi: World Vision Intensifies Borehole Drilling

George Mhango
August 3, 2016

Mary Msampha can now afford to draw water close to her home

Mary Msampha can now afford to draw water close to her home

Mary Msampha used to walk 10 kilometers to and from her house searching for water in Lipiri, Dowa District, Central Region Malawi.

The area is within the control of Traditional Authority (T/A) Kayembe and shares boundary with T/A Chakhaza, another popular chief in the district.

“Our children suffered a lot. Even cooking food was a challenge without water. Secondly, as you know that when you have infants or young children you have to wash their nappies, this was another setback,” says Msampha.

Most of her time was spent on searching for water. Little time was spent on taking care of her family and practicing farming, according to Msampha.

“We sometimes had no option but to travel to a distant place called Kawande to draw water,” recalls Msampha, adding that like other women, they were subjected to long queues and sleepless night as their efforts to draw water.

People in Lipiri, Dowa are both great commercial and subsistence farmers of beans, cotton, maize, groundnuts, soya sorghum and other crops.

Initially, Dowa is an agricultural district which focuses on cotton and groundnut farming, and the main food crops produced in the district are maize, sweet potatoes and pulses.

Even a visit to the area showed that the area has no enough portable water. Perennial rivers from where people can fetch water for home use and dambo farming are also few prompting such challenges women encounter.

Drilling of a hole captured in progress in Lipiri

Drilling of a hole captured in progress in Lipiri

Msampha adds that government funded community based care centres including those of various organizations such as World Vision in Lipiri were affected.

“It was difficult to run a Community Based Care Centre (CBCC) without water because apart from teaching children every operation depends on water. For you to prepare porridge, wash their clothes, one needs water. It was a problem running CBCCs then,” explains Msampha, who also teaches at Lipiri CBCC.

Go there today, such calamities are history. The area has more holes drilled by World Vision. Children and community members, who also used to suffer from waterborne diseases, can now afford a healthier life.

Water is also available in most CBCCs. “We now have the audacity to fetch water from boreholes World Vision drilled in the area. We no longer complain because we even have gardens where we grow vegetables to supplement the diet,” says another mother identified as Naphiri.

World Vision Central Region coordinator Liddah Mtimuni Manyozo says currently, the organisation has intensified the drilling of 43 holes in Lipiri Area Programme.

“To this day 37 holes have been drilled with two dry holes in Lipiri, which has a population of 22, 382. On average,” said Manyozo.

The initiative is meant to deal with water challenges children and others face in homes, schools and habitable place. In fact, in other areas World Vision is drilling solar power driven boreholes.

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