On Tuesday 13th July, Pump Aid led a delegation from the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Agriculture, to visit the sites of its self-supply pilot project in Kasungu District, Malawi. Each of the delegates was given a brief summary of the project so far which you can read the Project Description and Key Findings shared with officials.
Our pilot project in Kasungu has trained 25 WASH entrepreneurs. In just under a year all 25 entrepreneurs have more than doubled their incomes, proving that there is a strong demand and the ability to pay even in the poorest rural areas. These 25 entrepreneurs helped to provide improved and secured access to water to over 20,000 people.
In attendance from the Ministry were:
Self-supply is an approach to increasing access to water and sanitation through investment by the user themselves. It requires the existence of local small businesses who can offer products such as well lining or pump and services including repairs and maintenance.
Self-supply is widely used in other countries where it has been demonstrated as more sustainable, because of individual ownership. It is also about one quarter the cost to reach the same number of people meaning it is for times more cost effective.
The guests were accompanied by Tiyese Mwale, Country Director, Fred Ntedere, Project Manager and Duncan Marsh Director of Programmes. The aim of the visit was to show Ministry Delegates the potential of a self-supply approach in providing improved access to water to hard to reach communities, as well as addressing functionality issues with broken water points and to demonstrate how low cost pump technology has an important role to play in food security.
The delegates visited a range of self-supply customers and spoke first hand with some of the projects entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs were able to explain how, with Pump Aids support through training and marketing, they had been able to substantially increase their earning through water and sanitation business, without financial subsidy, through focusing on marketing, quality products and customer information. As well as providing individual households with improved water resource’s, the entrepreneurs had been active in providing services to communal water points.
Pumps that had been installed by NGOs and then broken, leaving the local community to again take water from unsafe sources, were now functional again as a result of entrepreneurs business activities.
Deputy Director for Water Development. Mr Prince Mouloeta said “We’ve seen you [Pump Aid] make a great effort with self supply, with great results. From now own many people will know better about self supply. Your initiative is very welcome. It is going a long way to meet needs. Its [also] taken a very good and innovative approach to non functionality. We know many facilities are not working and therefore your approach can help these to flourish. We are also working in an environment where increasing needs and budget constraints mean we have to consider new approaches (such as yours). We need a better roll out plan for self supply.”
Customer Otamile Banda said “The workers no longer walk for longer distances for irrigation which makes them save more time to do other things in the garden.”
You can also read all about Juliana Matapira’s improved productivity on her farm here.
Pump Aid believes that given the success of the pilot project and the positive experiences from elsewhere in Africa and across the globe, the government of Malawi and international donors must fully support the scale up of self-supply in Malawi as a way to improve access and deal with non-functionality.