One year ago in March I met with 20 village chiefs in a remote catchment called Kamphenda. They represented 20 villages that did not have their own fresh water well and had come to a simple classroom in one of the villages to discuss their need. (see blog post on Samaritan Wells May 28, 2007)
One year later, the first two wells are now operational, installed in March by CitiHope International; and arrangements have been made for two more wells to be installed this month, thanks to generous sponsors in Chatham, New Jersey.
Here is Dennis’ report on the first two wells in this region:
A BRIEF REPORT ON THE DEEP WELLS (BOREHOLES) IN KAMPHENDA
Date of Visit: APRIL 3, 2008
Report Compiled by: Dennis Singini, Operations Coordinator
Gabriel Msongole, Country Representative, CitiHope International
Sanitary, potable water has become a reality for the people of Kamphenda, Sinjiliheni and Chisungula Villages. Through CitiHope International funding and management, these villages now have their own deep well boreholes, centrally located within each village. Until now, there has been no safe water for years. Villagers used to fetch water in cisterns from the same places where domestic and wild animals would go to drink. Water-borne diseases like diarrhea & dysentery were very common and too many people have died from drinking unsafe water.
On April 3rd CitiHope Malawi staff, Gabriel Msongole and Dennis Singini, visited these villages where two bore holes have already been drilled with funding donated by generous Americans to CitiHope International through the efforts of Dr. Michael J. Christensen. The CHI Malawi team went there to interact with villagers and to monitor operations of the deep wells. In both villages, the people are full of happiness and gratitude to the donors.
When Gabriel and Dennis saw how happy and delighted the villagers were, they were reminded of what Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew, “I was thirsty and you gave me drink…”
When Gabriel and Dennis arrived at Sinjiliheni where the first well was drilled, the villagers were so happy to see them and expressed great happiness for the well that has been provided. They had never even dreamt of having water at this particular time of the year.
Village Headman Mtakwa, at Sinjiliheni, witnessed the borehole working properly and expressed his gratitude and appreciation to CitiHope for drilling a well in their area. Villagers first began using the well on March 30, 2008. They explained that the well will provide clean water for 9 villages:
a. Village Headman Mtakwa
b. Village Headman Jumbu
c. Village Headman Chilevu
d. Village Headman Kayizwanga
e. Village Headman Kambatika
f. Village Headman Kasumbiskanga
g. Village Headman Madwaleni
h. Village Headman Msepweteka
i. Village Headman Mfumu-Yilinkhu.
The Village Headmen also explained that women had been walking long distances to fetch water. They would leave their homes around 1:00 a.m. and had to walk long distances of about 5 miles to get to the former, unsanitary water source.
The most difficult thing in the area has been that a seasonal stream provided water during the rainy season only. With the borehole in place, it is totally a different story; about 5,000 people will benefit from drinking safe water from this well all year long.
The people of the Kamphenda area are so grateful to all the CitiHope donors and partners who made it possible for them to have safe water within and surrounding the village. They thanked CHI for being their good stewardship, in integrity and compassion, in combating the water problem in their area.
A third bore hole will be drilled in just a few weeks. The driller was engaged with other contracts, so he could not finish drilling three wells. The contractor was paid half of the job and will finish the balance of the work when he is through drilling another borehole. As soon the well is completely drilled, CitiHope staff will visit the site and send another report immediately.
Photos and captions from Report: available upon request
Villagers happy with the borehole
A happy woman demonstrates use of the pump
In a group photo at Kamphenda Village, Sinjiliheni
CitiHope Country Representative, Gabriel Msongole,
in blue shirt, addresses villagers at Sinjiliheni
Nyangana, an old woman in the village, was very happy
when the well was drilled because now she can rest from fetching water at night
Chusungula Borehole will serve 4 villages:
a. Village Head man Chofya
b. Village Head man Chidyokho
c. Village Head man Mtinkhwa
d. Village Head man Chisungula
A total number of 3,000 people are to drink from this well. It was sad to learn that some women when they had walked long distances fetching for water were being asked to pay for water which they could not afford and sometimes were asked to give a bucket full of corn so that in turn they can have the water.
Today it’s a different story everybody is free to drink water from this well freely with no charges along with. They started using this borehole on the 28th March 2008.
Women so grateful for the borehole in Chisungula Village
The young woman at right just got married and said it was hard for her to fetch water because she had to walk 5km to find water; now she is happy. Previously, while fetching water, she was once asked to pay the owners of the place for the water.