Our Water and Sanitation program continues to make a significant difference in the lives of students in rural Malawi. Read our latest blog to learn about how we support hygiene initiatives in primary schools in Dowa, Malawi.
WASH in Malawi
If you follow Orant’s media, you might see acronyms like WPC and WASH. But why are they important? What do they mean? Here we break down Malawi’s water lingo and answer other frequently asked questions.
What is WASH? Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.
The goal of WASH programming is to protect communities from waterborne illnesses. WASH promotes less open defecation and more access to clean water.
- Drilling wells
- Training communities in maintenance and water treatment
- Educating communities on health and sanitation
- Building latrines and menstrual hygiene facilities
What do we mean when we say “access to safe water?”
- A household’s round trip to collect water is less than 30 minutes
- The water is not contaminated
- Each person in a household has access to a minimum of 27 liters of water per day
What is a WPC? Water Point Committee.
Each water point has a WPC. WPCs regulate, use, and care for water points. They also collect and manage money to pay for parts and repairs.
What is a water point?
A way to access clean water. This can be a borehole, water tower, or stand pipe.
What is a borehole?
A deep hole in the ground. A borehole is narrower than a well, but serves the same purpose. We use them to collect water. Orant’s boreholes have handpumps, as shown in the photo below.
What is a standpipe?
A standpipe is another water point. Like a borehole, it’s used to collect water. But instead of hand pumping, users only have to turn on the faucet. We call standpipes communal taps.
- The latrine is private
- It’s safe from collapse
- The pit isn’t full
- The floor is waterproof
- The roof doesn’t leak
What is a sanitation campaign?
A WASH educational session. These campaigns happen in community spaces or in schools. Orant teaches communities about:
- Household water treatment
- The importance of latrines
- Hand washing with soap
- Prevention of waterborne diseases
Why is WASH important?
About 4 million people in Malawi don’t have access to basic water supply services. Almost all children suffer complications from water-borne diseases like diarrhea and cholera. Women and girls must walk far for safe water, then carry it back home. This affects their ability to pursue education and employment. Water is a fundamental need. We want to make it accessible.
The Orant Journal
Yona Maloto has been a Water Field Assistant for Orant's Water & Sanitation Program since 2020. We interviewed him to learn more about his work.
Clean water is a gendered issue in Malawi. Women and girls bear the brunt of the water burden. Malita Chimbalame tells her story.
Madzi ndi Moyo: water is life. Melina Maiko of Central Malawi reflects on the gift of water. A new water well impacts her family and village.
Orant makes clean water accessible in rural Malawi by drilling and maintaining boreholes. In 2021, Orant drilled 15 new boreholes.
Poor sanitation and hygiene are major contributors to the burden of disease and school dropouts in rural schools and communities in Malawi.
Orant received the Solinst Water Meter only a few weeks ago but is already putting it to use in the Water & Sanitation Program.
Agatha’s community mobilization inspires us at Orant. With leadership like hers, sustainable change in Malawi is possible.
Community Based Management gives Malawi communities resources to manage their water. More players, like Orant, are also needed for success.
Orant's Water & Sanitation Program builds an improved pit latrine for girl learners at Chilinkholi Junior School in Central Malawi.