This borehole in Balaka was installed in 1994 but, over time, wear and tear degraded the handle so it was difficult to pump water. With 186 households dependent on this one pump it became a big problem.
“People here would have to wait for a long time for water; there was a big queue. Conflicts would sometimes break out and this was disruptive,” Liness Mwalora, treasurer of the local Borehole Maintenance Committee, explained.
“When Eagles Relief came to the community and asked them what would improve life here, the borehole was our top priority. They arranged for it to be fixed and a replacement handle was fitted in only an hour. Now that water flows readily, there is very little queuing and fewer arguments.”
The Borehole Maintenance Committee also received training in looking after the repaired pump.
“We've erected this fence to stop animals contaminating the water. During the off-season when the crops are harvested, the goats are left to roam free. We thought it was better to fence off the borehole, so that animals cannot leave their droppings around it, spreading disease.”
The committee also has a small savings fund managed by Liness so that they have enough funds to repair the borehole again if required. However they don’t want to stop there.
“During the training, we were inspired by the story of another borehole committee that saved 100,000 Kwacha (nearly £1200) so they could then drill another borehole. The plan is to get to that level; it would make life easier for people who live far from this pump and have to walk for a long time to use it.”