Malawi, also know as “The Warm Heart of Africa”, is a Southeast African country with a dense population of over 17 million people for the 45,747 square miles it covers. Malawi was once known as Nyasaland and was a protectorate of the United Kingdom. It later became a protectorate of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, but after the Federation was dissolved in 1963, Nyasaland was renamed Malawi and became an independent nation under Queen Elizabeth II, declaring independence two years later. Malawi now has a democratic, multi-party government.
Malawi is among the world’s least developed countries, ranking No. 170 out of 188 in the 2017 Human Development Index. Malawi has a low life expectancy and high infant mortality. HIV/AIDS is highly prevalent, resulting in a significant drain on both the labor force and government expenditures. 53% of the population of Malawi is under the age of 18, and 16.7% of children under 18 are Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC). Almost 1 million of the OVC children have lost at least one parent to AIDS.
We see people getting involved, retelling the story they have heard.
The Water Crisis in Malawi
The water crisis in Malawi affects over 11.7 million people, with 1.7 lacking access to safe water and 10 million without adequate sanitation. This causes tragic death from waterborne illness to over 3,000 children under 5 per year.
The Water Solution in Malawi
Water4 has been active in Malawi since 2012 and initially started work with Malawi Orphan Ministries. At the recommendation of Water4, this team has now grown into a full-fledged drilling enterprise, Water Access Malawi (WA-M) and is the combination of two teams that merged at the end of 2016. Led by Joseph Faison and Tati Ndalama, WA-M has provided safe water to over 15,000 people since 2012. The average cost of a well in Malawi is $1,800.
Joseph grew up in a small community in Malawi, collecting unsafe water from an open water source. When Joseph was introduced to the Water4 drilling system, he saw it as an opportunity to reach people in rural settings with the Word of God. Joseph is the assistant Disciple Making Movements (DMM) champion, focusing on leading Water4 partners across the world in a ministry focus of connecting safe water to the Living water of Jesus through discipleship.
DMM trained teams learn to share their faith in culturally appropriate, conversational, discovery based ways. WA-M engages communities in Discovery Bible Studies (DBS) to practice engaging with scripture. They believe this has caused the greatest growth they have ever seen in their drilling ministry. Joseph and Tati often perform DBS with the drilling team and communities at the end of each day.
“DBS is the way you reach out to people with the Word of God,” Joseph said. “So what happens is you gather the people you’re reaching out to with water and then you read the Bible.
We see people getting involved, retelling the story they have heard. If it was not for the water project I think it would have been difficult to reach them because some of the communities are not welcoming, they will not easily open the door until they see something you are doing.”
Because of his background in health and sanitation, Missional Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (mWaSH) principles come naturally to Tati, and he spends a considerable amount of time working with communities in health and sanitation. Tati recently accepted a Water4 Champion role as the Water4 mWaSH Assistant. mWash is a missional water, sanitation and hygiene curriculum developed by Lifewater International that teaches how development work in communities fits into the bigger story of God’s redemptive work in the world. Tati works closely with Benjamin Liringa in DRC to train drilling enterprises and communities in mWaSH.
The willingness of Joseph and Tati to lead the WA-M team in providing access to safe water is continually helping communities experience the Living water that Jesus offers – leaving a lasting impact on countless lives. Water4 is excited to see how God will continue to use Joseph and Tati in their roles as disciple-makers and water-warriors, in the lives of WA-M team members and communities across Southeast Africa.
By Emilie Hechtner / Sources: Wikipedia, WaterAid, USAID / Category: Countries