Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day Three: Visiting Monsanto and Geisha Village Wells

Mansonto Village Well: In 2007, I sent WorldHope Corps volunteers Don Wahlig and Dennis McQuerry out to Mansonto village with Rev. Levi Nyondo of St. Andrews CCAP Church to assess the need for a borehole (see my “Chicken for a Well” story of how the village captured the hearts of these two volunteers.) We determined that Mansonto needed a well, because the closest source of water was 2km down to the stream. And the water from the stream was not safe. Dennis’ church ended up sponsoring the well and paid for it directly through the CCAP and my facilitation. Dennis and two church members were able to return to Mansonto a month later to help install the well themselves on April 20, 2007. Locals report that the soil was tested and two attempts were made to find water before settling on the right spot for a borehole that went 75 meters deep. And that it was difficult for the well rig to drive into the remote village. Gratifying indeed to see that the well was still pumping water, two years later. Ten villages, with a total population of 2,000, we were told, now access the water from this well. 675 kids in five different grades benefit from this well, according to Sammy Mphepo, the teacher we met. “Our lives have now changed,” he said. “We are drinking good water.”

Geisha Village Well: Dennis’ church group also paid for and installed a village well in Geisha Village just outside Mzuzu City. It was a pump and play type well where children turn the merry-go-round to pump water. Half goes up into a tank tower reservoir and half spills into a basin on the ground for filling buckets and washing clothes. Unfortunately, the pumping system was broken and not able to provide water after only two years. When I returned to town, I met with Rev. Levi Nyondo, now General Secretary of the CCAP, and informed him of the breakdown. I offered to pay for its repair from WorldHope Corps funds, and left him enough money to do so before I left Malawi. He promised to get on it that week and I need to follow-up this month.