Part 2 of 3: EWB’s Work to Improve Water Access in Malawi

EWB’s African Program Staff and our African partners have identified two key ground level issues to improve access to water and sanitation in Malawi:

1)      Water point functionality (boreholes, wells, etc not working!)

2)      Equal distribution of water points (boreholes, wells, etc are distributed unequally which reduces the amount of population with access to clean water)

Alright, so we know some key factors leading to poor access to water and sanitation, let’s break this down to see what EWB is going to do:

Improve Functionality of Water Points

There are a bunch of reasons why a water point might break down (faulty materials, problems with installation, theft of pump parts and breakdown due to lack of maintenance are just a few). So water points need to get fixed when they break down, should be easy…unfortunately it isn’t always. Think of trying to repair a broken pump when the parts required may or may not be sold in your area but you have no way of knowing.

EWB is working with local area mechanics, village leadership, institutions and private sector to improve the functionality of water points by targeting:

1)      The reasons pumps fail (i.e. improving pump quality)

2)      What is preventing water points from being maintained and repaired (improving spare parts supply chain)

3)      Increasing incentives to repair and maintain water points (working with area mechanics)

If you want to know how exactly we do this, send me a question 🙂

Water Point Monitoring

The first step to knowing how to improve the functionality of water points is to know where they are and if they are working, this is where water point monitoring comes in.

Supporting District Governments

The last piece of the puzzle is to ensure that district governments are well equipped to meet the challenges of delivering equitable, sustainable water access. To do this EWB is implementing a program called Building Institutions and Leadership in Districts (BILD) program. The BILD program will provide coaching, on the job training and leadership development services to our district partners.

BILD also encompasses our exciting work in Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), to find out more ask me about CLTS 🙂

Thanks for reading!


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