Serving the most vulnerable      in rural Malawi

  © 2012 AID AFRICA  UK Registered Charity Number 1116336

In common with much of the world, all schools in Malawi closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic and for months there was no re-opening date, nor plans for how to sort the situation with exams.


We had 65 Secondary School students “on hold”, on our Education Programme, and were  committed to continuing to sponsor their educational needs as soon as the situation was clarified….

From March 2020….

Before March, our major concerns were hunger and the potentially poor maize harvest coming up, but within weeks, schools were closed, a country-wide lockdown threatened, and the first deaths

 of covid-19 registered in Malawi.  


Social distancing is tricky in a congregational society, but gradually word spread, and as more information unpacked globally, it was realised that this lifestyle might help mitigate transmission as much of it is lived outdoors in the fresh air. But with limited healthcare and facilities, complacency is risky, so we worked hard to help educate around prevention and provide resources to back that up.



  




Frequent hand washing was globally recommended, and by the end of March, our staff had distributed soap to hundreds of families in 15 villages, knowing many couldn’t afford to buy it.


More followed in May, and by then, over 1500 bars had been distributed to vulnerable families, along with guidance on the importance of regular washing.

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Alongside, we set to work repairing borehole pumps, recognising that broken pumps force congestion at adjacent water points causing queues that prevent the women from being able to socially distance.


So we repaired 7 borehole pumps—including at 4 schools—enabling 1794 households, (about 20,000 people) access to clean water.

Madeya Village Borehole

This pump served 180 households, 365 people, and was the sole source of safe water in this village.

It’s break-down caused distress and many difficulties for local villagers, especially the elderly, frail and infirm.

The repair of Madeya’s pump in April renewed direct access to clean water in their locality, and the replacement of the dangerous, broken cement apron made the area hygienically safer.

Coronavirus!

Siyamanda School Borehole Pump

200 households plus schoolchildren—1732 beneficiaries —used this busy borehole. When it broke down in March, the long walk to the next water source put children at risk as they were outside the school’s safe locality and increased the crowds at that pump.


It’s successful repair has meant families can now collect enough water locally, at intervals, to inhibit the spread of the virus.

It also brings safe water back within grasp of those too frail or sick to walk far.

Nachanje Village Pump

320 households—550 people

Pump repaired & new cement apron


Lolo Village Pump

474 households—550 people


Siyamanda School’s repaired pump


Nazombe Primary School pump—4430 users


During April 2020, we repaired

7 borehole pumps, restoring clean, safe water back to

1794 households

& 4 schools,

about 20,000 people


A broken borehole pump brings distress and problems, especially for women who traditionally collect water many times a day.


They need to walk further, carry heavy buckets for longer, use up more time, and risk increasing congestion and queues at the next clean source, or risk harming their families using potentially contaminated water from rivers or waterholes.



Education ….

Next

Unfortunately, these popular fortnightly events for the elderly had to be cancelled for a while because of the ban on gatherings due to the pandemic, but we’ve developed other ways to help the hungry and frail.


Elderlies’ Luncheons

Soap…..

…. & Water

During the first half of the year, Malawi didn’t experience a full lockdown though it was threatened, but objections were passed in the courts.  


Up until the end of June there were only 16 confirmed deaths attributed to coronavirus in the country, and life continued with social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing and the reduction of crowds.

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