Clean Water Access in MalawiFounded in 1999, Khalsa Aid is a U.K.-based organization that has the aim to provide humanitarian aid in disaster areas and civil conflict zones around the world.

So far, its tireless efforts have included assisting victims of the Yemen Civil War and refugees landing on the shores of Greece from the Middle East, as well as extending support to the Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar. In a more recent relief project, this organization gave food to 8,000 people who were affected by the floods in Kerala and continues to provide aid to bring life back to normal.

In the recent years, this organization has also made a huge effort in providing clean water in Malawi.

Langar Aid

In 2015, through its long-term initiative Langar Aid, Khalsa Aid dedicated a team for its Malawi Project.

Though considered to be one of the smallest and least developed countries in the African continent, Malawi region is widely known to be the warm heart of Africa. In 2015, the region suffered a major setback from one of its worst floodings and according to the United Nations, close to a quarter of a million people remained displaced, facing disease and malnutrition. With total estimated damages of $50 million and 15 affected districts out of Malawi’s total 28, the Malawi government with the help of UNICEF launched series of relief programs. The aim was to rebuild infrastructure and provide clean water and life-saving food assistance to those affected.

In response to the flooding situation, Khalsa Aid’s humanitarian efforts in Malawi involved initial installation of water pumps in the rural region, and subsequently, the addition of many more water pumps.

In 2015, with the help of donations, the team of Langar Aid went on grounds of Malawi to access the situation and provide assistance to the local communities. After a detailed assessment and consultation, the team felt an urgent need to provide vital food supplies and clean drinking water in the region. A relief team from Khalsa Aid visited the region for an initial assessment and found that many people had no access to clean drinking water due to damaged infrastructure. The team noticed that many people of the country’s town Phalombe had to walk for miles or take a bicycle and carry the buckets of water themselves.

The Success of the Project

Through their interactions with local communities, government and contractors, the team of Khalsa Aid created a permanent water source in the region. The volunteers and team of specialists mobilized drilling resources and after hours of drilling, a suitable water well was found. A hand pump was included on a platform on top of the water well, making it convenient for locals to fetch the water from the well.

Additionally, the people of Malawi along with the village administrative authorities received orientation session and were given handouts explaining the usage and maintenance of installed water pumps. Khalsa Aid now plans on drilling more boreholes in the region of Phalombe to make clean water more accessible for local communities.

Through the project of Langar Aid, Khalsa Aid’s humanitarian efforts in Malawi included an extended support for an estimated 500 families over a month through the provision of “food drops”. These are packages of nutritious meals that contained an assortment of fresh food, vegetables and seasonings. The volunteer team of Langar Aid also installed eco-friendly clean water pumps.

Local government and organizations like WaterAid have also been working to ensure that communities in Malawi region have clean water, toilets and sanitation. Only one in three people in the Malawi region has access to clean water, that amounts to roughly 5.6 million.

A region where more than half the entire population awaits a decent toilet and where dirty water and poor toilets are a prime reason for deaths of 31,000 children in a year, noble initiatives like Khalsa Aid are getting much appreciation and extensive global support.

– Deena Zaidi
Photo: Flickr