Author: Kisty Kamanga, Program Officer for Pump Aid in Malawi
This is my first trip to Pinda village, located in the Mchinjii District of Malawi. It’s a fine morning as we approach the village which is now beginning to wake in the morning sun, the silence and tranquility broken only by the sound of birds in the trees.
From where I stand the whole village looks to be an island in a sea of maize gardens, and I can see that the houses are mostly grass thatched and built with molded bricks.
As I approach the center of the village I come across a hand dug well, with no lining and no cover, it is clear that the well is exposed to the elements, and even in the five minutes I spend taking in the sight I see dust, gravel and soil fall into the water below.
After a while a child, a small girl, comes out of one of the nearby houses, she beams at me warmly however does not stop as she heads straight to the well and fills two buckets full of water. The water is more brown than blue and clearly full of various run off and waste. As the girl vanishes back into her home, a young women approaches me, her name is Maria and she is who I am here to see.
Maria is 18 years old and has agreed to show me around Pinda, the village she has spent her entire life in. Gesturing at the well she explains how the water it provides is vital for the 120 residents of Pinda, however the poor quality of the water means that sickness is common. Cholera is a major problem in Malawi and Pinda is no different. Maria is all too aware of how important it is to get safe water into the village, especially for the children and elderly.
Fortunately there is hope on the horizon; Pump Aid has been working with the villagers of Pinda to install an Elephant Pump onto the existing well which will radically improve the quality of the water. The masons are due to arrive in the next few days and Maria can’t wait. Excitedly she tells us that when the pump is installed she plans to use the time she would of otherwise spend trying to collect the water, going back to school and she has renewed hope for the children of the village.
I was invited to return to the village to see what the new Elephant Pump will bring. Maria’s excitement was contagious and as I leave I have high hopes for the future of Pinda Village and look forward to my next visit.
Read part 2 of Maria and Moses’ story, ‘The Wedding’ by clicking here.