Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day Seven: Kamphenda Village Wells


Kamphenda Villages:
Most gratifying was our visit to Rumphi in an area called Kamphenda which had been assessed by the Presbyterian Synod Church and Society program to have severe water problem. During the rainy season, water in the streams becomes muddy and contaminated resulting into water borne diseases like dysentery, diarrhea, cholera etc. During dry season, the water table goes deep down which makes it difficult for the villagers to find water table by sinking hand dug wells. In 2007, I met with 20 village chiefs who did not have their own village well, and I promised them at least one well, and more if I could find sponsors. What a delight to return two years later to find three thriving village well projects, and a significant decrease in waterborne diseases.

Kamphenda is about 100km away from Mzuzu. The CCAP Church and Society program continued to be quite active in the community through the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) program which takes a Human Rights promotion approach to Development in Malawi. Church workers wearing their colorful Church and Society vests had organized the community and helped them start community gardens near the well sights. I’m convinced that this kind of prior community organizing and development work is essential before CitiHope and WorldHope Corps comes in and digs a bore hole.

I hope to find sponsors for at least three more wells in this area before the end of the year.