Since it’s inception, Determined to Develop and Maji Zuwa (the lodge and economic center that provides food and shelter for many of the students sponsored by Determined to Develop) got their water in typical Malawi fashion, by carrying large tubs of water directly from Lake Malawi and then dumping them into large holding tanks. Our sponsored students would use the lake to bathe and do their laundry.
MAJI ZUWA HAS WATER
Water is medicine to dehydration, water washes away dirt, water cleanses the body and the human body is ninety percent water; above all water is life. These statements demonstrate how invaluable water is to mankind. But there is nothing more important than clean running water. Clean water is a basic necessity. How many can afford it? This is the big question we ask one another particularly when you come from a developing nation like Malawi where water is one of the most expensive things you can have.
Situated in the shores of Lake Malawi; Chilumba area to be specific. Maji Zuwa harbours a lodge and a home for the less privileged kids sponsored by Matt Maroon through his Determined to Develop NGO. If there was one thing that these kids would cry out to their gods would definitely be a wish for clean and sanitary water. Though blessed with a beautiful lake but the cases of water borne diseases has been prevalent since our ancestral times.
Like many other areas in Malawi, Maji Zuwa has been short of this basic necessity even though there was a provision for women carrying water buckets on their heads from the steeper Lake Malawi shores, there was always going to be a case of water running out from the tanks and also it would mean customers were a priority hence no showers for the Boys. Since its inception the lodge has been relying heavily on the women’s prowess to fill the tank. Therefore, to afford a clean shower or a perfect dish wash was a problem to the kids. If in any situation the women were not told in time it would mean a waterless environment for a considerable amount of time.
This did not only affect people, plants also groaned in agony as the blistering lakeshore heat murdered them mercilessly. All the beautiful flowers planted could only exist in rainy season and then disappear when the sun comes back. It would mean a hard time for the ground worker to carry buckets from the lake uphill just to water the plants. Therefore most plants would die along the way as there was insufficient water for them. Since 2010, the lodge and the home for the sponsored kids have had a hard time to access running water. Eventually, the only solution was the lake for washing, bathing and even drinking. But this was always scary as it did not guarantee safety from water borne diseases.
WATER COMES TO MAJI ZUWA
Thanks to a generous donation from a friend who visited us in 2013 which covered all the costs for the piping and water tanks, there was news that a Determined to Develop board member would visit Malawi in March 2014, and like a football transfer news rumour “he will bring a water pump” this too was spread. Everybody was excited with the news. We all had seen how running water had changed the lives of people at Sangilo Health Centre. We all waited eagerly to see what would happen. In everybody’s mind it meant a perfect solution to a long standing problem.
On 16th March, he arrived at Maji Zuwa. Although the pump was delayed but there was a beacon of hope. Matt assured everybody that finally there was going to be a running water system. Zeal was ignited; works started commencing while others began digging tunnels for pipes some were busy making sure that the electric wire to the pump was being connected. The line to the lake was being connected as with the help of the boys. The plumbers’ worked on fixing new tanks within a few days. This water system would cover the whole of Maji Zuwa including the sponsored kid’s house. Everybody played their role under the instructions of Roy. There could never be a better time in Life than having hope that you will have clean running water.
In approximately within two weeks the water system was fixed. There was water at Maji Zuwa. It was like seeing an angel on earth. The presence of clean running water would finally guarantee safety from water borne diseases. Everyone was excited with having running water on campus. This could be manifested by how people enjoyed. The pain of carrying buckets was finally over. Apparently, some of the kids took three showers a day for the first time in their lives. You could feel what a relief this was. One could understand what water meant to life.
Today there is joy amongst the people. With running water there is hope for a perfect accommodation at the place and also making things easier for the cooks as well as the Determined to Develop sponsored kids. With clean running water now, the place looks beautiful, the plants look beautiful; bathing is beautiful, dish washing looks beautiful, yes water is life and life is beautiful too.
By: Christoper Chirambo Karonga Malawi, Africa April 2014
Tawonga chomene (We thank you)