04:53 am - Thursday 20 September 2018

UK public digs deep for Malawi, £1.2m Raised WaterAid

By Amalawi - Thu Aug 02, 8:39 pm

By Laura Crowley (WaterAid)

Just six weeks after launching The Big Dig Appeal, international charity WaterAid has smashed its £1.2m fundraising target. Thanks to the generosity of the UK public, the charity will now be able to bring clean water, sanitation and hygiene to 134,000 people in Malawi.

However, the charity does not want to stop there. It is now asking the public to help transform even more lives by reaching the £2m mark by the time the appeal ends on 18 September.

The Big Dig launched on 18 June with the support of more than 30 commercial radio stations. All donations are being matched pound for pound by the UK Government from the aid budget, helping WaterAid reach twice as many people. Just over £600,000 has been donated by the public so far and doubled by the Government, bringing the grand total to over £1.2m.

Supporters have a unique opportunity to follow the journey of two communities, Bokola and Kaniche, as they gain access to these vital services. Bokola is located in the central region of Malawi and is in Mchinji district. The Big Dig Blog (www.thebigdig.org) features live updates from two project officers and gives people the chance to meet community members and see how WaterAid is transforming lives.

Howard Credit Kate Holt of WaterAid

Howard Credit Kate Holt of WaterAid

Mercy Masoo, WaterAid’s Country Representative in Malawi, said: “On behalf of the entire team in Malawi, and most importantly the people of Bokola, Kaniche and the other communities that will benefit from The Big Dig, I would like to thank everyone who has supported the appeal and become part of this story of change.

“I can’t wait to see children in these communities drinking water from safe sources, and women and girls no longer having to waste precious time collecting dirty water. The money raised really will change lives in Malawi.”

Seventeen-year-old Howard from Bokola village helps his mother by collecting water two to three times a day, with each trip taking one hour. He knows this time could be spent studying or playing football, which he loves.

He says: “We go to collect water after school hours and it makes me feel very tired. When I pick up my exercise books to read, I don’t have much concentration. In the future I want my family to have clean water and my siblings will have healthy bodies.”

Find out more and be part of The Big Dig at www.thebigdig.org

The Big Dig appeal is being backed by may celebrities:
Singer and television personality Rachel Stevens
Comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar
Actor Hugh Bonneville
Former boxer Joe Calzaghe
Rock band Biffy Clyro
Dancer Camilla Dallerup and her husband, actor Kevin Sacre
Television personality Lorraine Kelly
Television personality Joanna Lumley
Former footballer Cyrille Regis
Actor John Simm
Singer and presenter Denise Van Outen
Celebrity builder Tommy Walsh
Singer Kim Wilde

The big dig waterAid International

The big dig waterAid International

WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. The international organisation works in 27 countries across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Pacific region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Over the past 30 years, WaterAid has reached 15.9 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 11 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit www.wateraid.org , follow @wateraid on Twitter or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraid

783 million people in the world do not have access to safe water. This is around 1 in 10 people worldwide.
2.5 billion people in the world do not have access to adequate sanitation. This is around 1 in 3 people worldwide.
For every £1 invested in water and sanitation, £8 is returned in increased productivity.
Just £15 can enable one person to access safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation.

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2 Comments

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  1. Arnold, your idea is good and it is something anyone would encourage WaterAid to look at, however it raises many questions. When waterAid digs a bole hole and hands it over to the village this becomes property of the village, almost every person in the village feels that it is their property hence they look after it. Be it not very well but at least they try. With your idea, who would own the cart in the village? Who will look after it? Who will be responsible for repairs? Most people would feel it is not their property hence would not care as this will reside at someone’s place in the village. People think differently in Malawi and some a very closed, they would not want to be associated with a cart that belongs to the chief or the village headman. In reality it will not the property of the chief but that’s how people will view it.

    Chitedze research center does a lot of good work and have done for many years. If I remember well back in the early 80’s they used to give loans to villages so that they could buy a cart for the village, the idea was that this could then be hired by the locals to either ferry goods, fetch water etc but this never worked due two reasons, the loans were never paid back and most people felt reluctant to hired the cart as they didn’t want to make the chief rich.

    So waterAid has to think this one through..

  2. The reality of a very poor, dispersed rural farm population in Malawi, precludes the large-scale provision of piped water. It is impossible, given the limited resources, to drill/dig enough wells to enable most rural farm families to have ready access to water, without headloading water in unit volumes of some 20 litres at a time some considerable distance. The most viable solution is not only drilling more wells, but making handcarts that can carry well over 150 litres of water at a time (with no lifting needed by the operator), commercially avaialble at an affordable price (~US$40). These handcarts will be used not only for transporting water, but for many agricultural and commercial activities, and so have an enormous market potential, far greater than treadle pumps and even greater than bicycles. Details can be found at
    China is the
    largest user of handcarts for both urban and rural applications, and is the major manufacturer and exporter of handcart wheels. If the Chinese were persuaded to export these wheels to Malawi, handcarts could be built here by Malawian carpenters and entrepreneurs at a price that many farm families could afford. Handcarts have been successfully tested by Chitedze Research Station (1998); Minsitry of Local Government/MRTTP (2003); and Bunda College (2009), but nothing has been done to disseminate this vitally needed transportation to the Malawian farmers who need it to transport their water, as well as to enhance their agricultural productivity (as by small-scale irrigation). Water Aid needs to assess and implement handcart water transport technology, which is complementary to its current programme.

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