Fausida has lived in the small village of Chimutu, where Pump Aid installed a pump in 2011, for more than two decades. In a country where the average life expectancy is just 55 years, Fausida, who is 51, is considered an elder. Her wizened face and grey hair belie her actual age.
Fausida’s face is full and round, and her smile is broad. She is wrapped in a traditional chitenje fabric imprinted with black and white stars. Rosary beads, the colour of green lapis lazuli, hang loosely around her neck.
In front of her modest brick house, she recalls her life before the pump. “We had an uncovered well, and it was often contaminated,” she says. During the rainy season, she explains, downpours push debris and other pollutants into the water, polluting it. The pump, with its heavy cement cover, safeguards the source and ensures easy access for the entire community. “The pump protects our water, and we know when it rains, it will remain safe.”
She is thankful for the pump, which is now managed by a village water point committee and serves many people beyond her own community. “Zikomo kwambiri,” she says in Chichewa, a traditional language of Malawi. Thank you so much.
Tamaida, an elder of Chimutu, recalls the unprotected well was drying up every year since 1996 right up to the year Pump Aid installed the protected pump.
“It was a positive contribution to me and my family as well as other people in the village,” she says, “for it meant we had access to safe and clean water.”
Today the pump continues to change lives in this village, which shares its secure water point with several other neighbouring communities, each of which relies on it for their everyday needs.
“The pump protects our water, and we know when it rains, it will remain safe.”