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Mar 22, 2024
Sustainability & Social Engagement

Cooperation for Clean Water: Celebrating World Water Day

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Water is indeed a fundamental human right, and this sentiment forms the cornerstone of our ongoing collaboration with Viva con Agua Österreich, Welthungerhilfe, and the Austrian Development Agency. Our partnership has led to remarkable achievements, particularly in the Dedza district of central Malawi. As a responsible company, we also pursue the goal of making people’s lives better beyond our core business. This is precisely why we support this initiative.

Clean Water Projects

In 2021, NEVEON, in collaboration with Viva con Agua Austria and Welthungerhilfe, initiated the Malawi WINS & Co project. This ambitious endeavor aimed to structurally improve and sustainably secure access to clean drinking water in schools and villages within the Dedza district. The success of the initial phase (Malawi WINS & Co 1.0) from 2021 to 2023, which secured drinking water for 22,000 rural Malawians, paved the way for the second phase (Malawi WINS & Co 2.0).

The aim of the second project phase from 2023 to 2025 (Malawi WINS & Co 2.0) was to provide a further 30,000 people with access to clean drinking water during the two-year project period. Thanks to the support of the Austrian Development Agency, the scope has been expanded and around 45,000 people are now benefiting from Malawi WINS & Co 2.0 thanks to the additional support from Austrian Development Cooperation funds over the average lifespan of a well of ten years.

Hydrogeological Insights: Optimizing Clean Water Access in Malawi

One crucial aspect of our efforts in Malawi is the comprehensive hydrogeological survey conducted in the Traditional Authority (TA) Chauma region. Undertaken in November and December 2023, this survey aimed to identify optimal borehole drilling sites with high potential for groundwater extraction. The survey utilized advanced techniques like the Audio Magneto-Telluric (AMT) method to detect variations indicative of potential groundwater sources.

The findings of the hydrogeological survey underscored the importance of evidence-based decision-making in water resource management. While some areas exhibited medium potential for groundwater exploitation, others showed limited to no potential, influenced by geological attributes and rugged terrain. In response, the survey recommended exploring alternative water sources and implementing advanced technological solutions to address water challenges effectively.

Community Impact: Malawi WINS & Co 2.0's Clean Water Milestones

The impact of projects like Malawi WINS & Co 2.0 is palpable in the communities of Dedza district.

Meet Khumbo Munthali, Welthungerhilfe’s Field Coordinator responsible for the “Malawi WASH in Schools (WINS) & Communities (Co) 2.0” project. He is passionate about serving the communities with safe drinking water. His role is to ensure successful planning, implementation, and monitoring of the project.

As Malawi joins the rest of the world in commemorating the World Water Day (WWD) on 22 March 2024, Khumbo shares how Welthungerhilfe is transforming access to WASH services in the rural communities of Dedza district in central Malawi through the project.

The “Malawi WINS & Co 2.0” project is significantly reducing the distance community members need to travel for water to a maximum walking distance of 500 meters from over 2 kilometres in some areas.

“The project is improving hygiene and sanitation standards within the communities of Traditional Authority (TA) Chauma by equipping service providers with the necessary skills and resources to effectively operate and maintain boreholes, ensuring a continuous supply of clean and safe water for domestic use.”

Brown Michembo has been working with Dedza District Council as Water Supervisor in the Department of Water and Sanitation for six years.

Over the years, he says, the council has improved provision of safe water and toilets especially in schools and communities of TA Chauma, Dedza, courtesy of the Malawi WASH in Schools (WINS) & Co Project – 1.0 and now 2.0.

Michembo says that in the past schools had no WASH facilities and there was disregard of children in schools and communities mainly in terms of access to safe water. This resulted in a proliferation of water borne diseases and high school dropout rates.

“But now, water borne diseases have decreased and enrolment in schools has spiked, thanks to the project. The project has brought water closer to the people.”, says Michembo

As we mark World Water Day 2024 under the theme "Leveraging Water for Peace," the successes of initiatives like Malawi WINS & Co serve as powerful reminders of water's transformative impact. By ensuring access to clean drinking water, promoting hygiene and sanitation, and fostering community resilience, we contribute not only to individual well-being but also to the broader goal of sustainable peace and development in Malawi.

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