Water project | Madzi
Dependence on rain for successful harvests.
Inhabitants of Monkey Bay.
Construction of a water pump powered by solar panels.
Sustainable project completed and water pump still in use.
We no longer collect donations for this project. However, there is the possibility for companies to make a direct donation for the construction of a new water pump in another area. The estimated costs for this are € 15,000. Please contact us.
Access to water
The Malawian people are dependent on water, amongst others for growing maize. The maize is sown between November and December, at the start of the wet season. The wet season usually takes 3 months. In this time enough maize is produced to provide families with food throughout the rest of the year. Unfortunately, in reality the wet season takes less then 3 months, yielding a harvest that is too low for the entire year. Each year Malawians starve and die from malnutrition. Furthermore, water is also needed for drinking and cooking. Often several kilometers need to be traveled to get to a clean water source. If nothing else is available, even polluted water is used for drinking and cooking, which causes bacteria and diseases, as the same water is used for washing. Malawi is one of the poorest countries worldwide, so there is only little money available for investments to prevent or solve the shortage of food and water during droughts. The climate change only causes more drought, increasing the severity of the problem.
At the beginning of 2016, founders Aaron and Mariska started a fundraising to provide the most vulnerable families in Malawi with maize. We thought that next to directly investing in providing food, investing in a more permanent and sustainable solution would be even better. Aaron and the uncle of Johan and Mariska, John, started talking about this during a family gathering and never stopped talking about it since. It seemed so easy, as only water was needed to ensure that people could harvest enough maize themselves.
The use of water pumps seemed a very promising solution to us. Powered by solar panels, these pumps bring water to the plants on the land via a drip system. A drip system yields the highest efficiency of water transfer, due to the high temperatures in Malawi. By leaving the construction to Malawian companies and the maintenance and use to the local farmers, we could give the residents themselves a chance to contribute to a sustainable solution.
John wanted to contribute and contacted an old friend, co-owner of Eltra Engineering BV. After discussing our proposal, the management of Eltra Engineering BVdecided to donate a substantial amount of money for the project. Aaron started the Water Project during his stay in Malawi in 2018. A lot had to be arranged and organized and contacts were established with various local businesses to realize the project. It was necessary for Aaron to be in Malawi during the startup of the Water Project to ensure everything went smoothly. A water tank was build and connected to a pump and solar panels. Water is drilled 50 meters underground. The pump is powered by solar panels and the water is stored in the water tank. The water is used for growing maize, but also for growing vegetables, like tomatoes, beans, lettuce, potatoes and lemons. It is also used as drinking water and for cooking and washing. Maintenance and repairs are paid by the people who use the water pump. The water pump is still used daily. Without the donation by ‘Eltra Engineering BV’ this would not have been possible. For this, we are very grateful to them. As we find it very important to keep them up to date about the developments of the Water Project, Mariska created a Facebook page where pictures and updates about the Water Project, also called the Chimanga Project, are posted. ‘Chimanga’ means maize in Chichewa (the Malawian language). At least 150 villagers of Monkey Bay use the water and are self-sufficient because of it.