Water scarcity is a challenge in most Sub-Saharan African countries including Malawi. The problem is more rampant in rural areas of the landlocked Southern African country.
In rural areas, it is either there are no boreholes or boreholes are not functioning. The factor forces school-going girls’ to waste time walking long distances to fetch clean water instead of focusing on their studies.
The trend fuels poor performance of the girls in schools that limit them to contribute positively to the social-economic growth of their communities and the nation. The development retards the rate of intellectuals in remote Malawi.
The old African proverb says “If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family (nation)” was a pioneer in its time for realizing the importance of women’s education when men predominated education opportunities.
The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) list critical challenges that the world must eradicate before 2030. Goal number Six stresses the need for everyone including rural dwellers to have clean water.
The goal focuses on ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
“Water and sanitation are at the very core of sustainable development, critical to the survival of people and the planet. Goal 6 not only addresses the issues relating to drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, but also the quality and sustainability of water resources worldwide,” reads a statement about the SDGs on the website of the United Nations (UN).
The persistent lack of clean water in Malawi made the Pacific Group of Companies embark on an initiative to repair boreholes in all 193 constituencies in Malawi.
Speaking in an interview with Malawi Muslims Official Website, the director of the Pacific Group of Companies Faisal Aboo says one reason for the borehole repairing initiative in the districts is to help girls and women avoid walking long distances to fetch clean water.
“In villages, girls are getting deprived of going to school because they have to walk long distances to fetch clean water. Most rural people spend many hours fetching clean water so the boreholes will help them to save time and focus on productive activities such as going to school for the girls and working in their gardens,” Aboo says.
To instill ownership of the repaired boreholes, the Pacific Team Rehabilitation Project involves Members of Parliament (MPs).
“The reason for going through the Members of Parliament is that they can be part of this Corporate Sociable Responsibility where they can include in such a manner of providing accommodation and food and logistics of traveling in their own area of our staff and also strengthen the bond between us and community members,” the Director of Pacific Group of Companies Faisal Aboo says.
Member of Parliament of Salima Central Constituency Honorable Gerald Kapiseni Phiri has commended Faisal Aboo for the gesture in his area.
“On behalf of people of Senior Chief Karonga, Maganga, Kuluunda, Salima and Sub Traditional Authority Chisamba and of course on my own behalf, we thank you for choosing Salima Central Constituency among needy 193 Constituencies to repair dead boreholes. We appreciate the work you have done through your able team of James (Project Team Leader) and his partner that has demonstrated hard work and passion in executing their works and the people of Salima Central Constituency will forever remember Pacific,” Honorable Phiri says.
The MP adds, ” Today no Borehole in my Constituency is idle, people are walking short distances to draw clean water, my people have stopped fetching water from untreated streams, all this because of your vision. May God increase your financial base and reward your Sadaka (Charity) and remember you in Jannah for remembering the most vulnerable.”
The Pacific borehole rehabilitation project started in 2015. So far, over 3300 boreholes have been renovated in over 80 constituencies and endeavors to reach all the 193 constituencies by 2025, costing the Pacific Group of Companies money amounting to over 500 Million Kwacha.
The initiative has saved more than a trillion hours in the search for water by mostly women living in rural areas.