We’ve not had water in our place in Mzuzu for two days and when it’s 30+ degrees, you really miss being able to shower. It’s a stark reminder of how most people in Malawi live – having to carry water in buckets and ration its use.
It gave a real poignancy to our work at Tapukwa today as we began to make the final connections for the supply pipeline that will bring hydro power, irrigation and filtered tap drinking water to the 800 people in the village.
There are always challenges in Malawi, particularly with supply of materials, but we are working hard to get the water flowing by Monday so we can do the final testing on Tuesday before John begins his long journey home to Turriff.
When we’ve not been on site at Tapukwa, we’ve been busy with a series of meetings which may pave the way for some great partnerships. First we visited the abattoir run by Nyama World – a most impressive facility, operating to a very high standard. We were exploring two areas where we think we can work together: 1. Our farmers growing silage for cattle feed using our solar irrigation pumps 2. Organic fertiliser production using manure from their farm and waste materials from the factory. We will be doing further research and some pilot projects but I hope we can move forward together.
Then we visited the Mzuzu Rotary Club and it was a hugely positive meeting. We were not the only guests – there were Rotarians from St Louis in the United States who are also working on a water project. I have been to a couple of dozen Rotary Clubs in Scotland this year and it was great to visit another one, on a different continent, but with the same values and a strong desire to help their community. Rotary Clubs in Scotland have bought over 20 of the Futurepumps which we have in use here in Malawi and I was able to share news of our work with the club members and the visitors from the US. The result is that we are going to continue the conversation and see if we can work together – Scotland, Malawi and the US – to expand our polytunnel project. I have exciting news about that to share in my next blog!