In Mwepa, Malawi—one of the driest villages in the region—sources of clean, safe water were scarce.

Vayiness Kawonga was accustomed to the laborious task of collecting enough for washing, cooking and irrigation. But things were about to get worse.

One day, on her way to fetch water for her family, Vayiness learned that the only well for kilometres around was broken.

Suddenly, 92 households were without access to clean water.

The Impact of Water Scarcity

Vayiness collecting water for her family

Vayiness collects water for her family

Residents had no other choice but to venture even farther from the village—across rocky, uncertain terrain—to collect water from an unprotected source.

It wasn’t long before the contaminated water caused many people in the village to become ill. Vayiness made frequent visits to the local health centre with her two children who were suffering from waterborne disease.

When Vayiness wasn’t with her children at the doctor’s, collecting water dominated her day. Without a pump, it took half an hour to fill one bucket. Vayiness was forced to forgo other important chores, such as harvesting her fields.

A few times, Vayiness ventured out to collect water at 4 a.m. in an attempt to beat the line and have water ready for her family when they woke up. But by the time she’d hauled her bucket home, her children had left for school without a bath.

Vayiness would imagine how much easier her life could be with better access to safe, drinkable water.

With support from PWS&D and local partners, that dream has become a reality.

Improving Her Life With Water

Vayiness is improving her quality of life with better access to clean water

Vayiness is improving her quality of life with better access to clean water

Eight boreholes have been constructed in villages participating in PWS&D’s water, sanitation and hygiene project in Mpata.

For Vayiness, having a nearby source of water has lifted a considerable burden and helped her improve her well-being.

Vayiness now has a vegetable garden close to home, which will enhance her family’s nutrition and become a source of income. She is improving her hygiene—washing clothing and blankets more often, rather than only during the rainy season. She is also able to make repairs to her home. “We could not mould bricks due to water problems in our area,” she explains.

Respond With Us!

Women in particular encounter many challenges collecting water for their families. As a result, their homes, children and livelihoods often suffer.

Your continued support is helping vulnerable communities improve their lives through basic access to clean, safe water.