Last month, our Abe Wright, Thom Haubert, and Greg Bixler (above, LtoR) flew to Malawi to meet with leaders from both World Vision and the Malawi WASH team. We wanted to discover where we could partner with locals and bring our LIFEPUMP to provide safe, clean, drinkable water. Malawi welcomed us warmly.
While there, we met Jordan Smoke (World Vision, US), Peter Matipwiri and other WASH staff. We discovered that Malawi, with its rolling hills and red earth, is a country that suffers from malnutrition (47% of its population) and relies primarily on agriculture for its economy. We also learned that at least one out of five water pumps are not working due to software and other hardware problems. In other words, Malawians need access to reliable, clean water! They need back the time they are spending to gather water to focus on personal health and economic growth.
The issues facing Malawians became personal to us, though, when we visited the village of Kanyamula. The government attempted to drill a borehole in this village 15 years ago, but after drilling to 50m did not find water and quit the project. The people of Kanyamula remember. They carry the scars of marred hope.
If drilling had continued deeper, and if an appropriate deep well pump would have been available, this village of 180 people would now likely have clean, safe water. Instead, the people of Kanyamula make the daily trek of 3 km (about the size of 32.81 American football fields) to the nearest pump, gathering enough water for the day’s need. To their detriment, they often opt for closer, shallow wells that are contaminated and prone to drying up.
We often remember that at the end of it all, faith, hope and love are the things that last. But the greatest of this triad is love. We believe that love is bigger than feeling, that it actually does things. That the action of love shows up, partners with, walks alongside. We believe that this work is important because we believe that love is the greatest ambition of all.
In Kanyamula, we listened as the villagers shared their story and promised we’d come back. And in October, we will return…this time with our LIFEPUMP. We want to love practically. We want to see hope restored to this village and its people. As we left, we were serenaded, “Our friends will return.” Indeed. And we look forward to sharing this return with you.