There are only 25 ventilators in the whole country so this awareness campaign is vital. Malawi’s medical facilities in rural areas are ordinarily over-subscribed, under-staffed and lacking in basic equipment and medicine so creating awareness is key to help ensure people know how they can keep themselves and their families safe. We will reach more than 600,000 people directly. We are repairing broken boreholes and providing buckets and soap to marketplaces and other communal areas.
Malawians living in rural locations rely on boreholes to collect their water for drinking, cooking and washing. Since the coronavirus pandemic reached Malawi, the District Councils have informed us that there are more than 800 broken boreholes across Nkhata Bay and Nkhotakota Districts. Often boreholes are provided but there is no money for maintenance. Our fundraising campaign has enabled us to ensure 200 boreholes are repaired but we obviously want to repair as many of the others as possible.
There are 2,271 boreholes across Nhkata Bay District with a similar quantity in Nkhotakota District and around 20% of these are broken. By repairing the boreholes, we will reduce the pressure and over-crowding of the ones that are working. One borehole is used by an average of 150 peoples several times a day each. By donating you can directly help Malawians to have access to water for drinking and crucially at the moment, for washing their hands.
Our Awareness Campaign is as follows:
- Print simple visual and locally relevant educational materials in local languages.
- Train key Ripple Africa staff to use these to train key community volunteers.
- Roll out training to educate and empower Ripple Africa’s fish conservation committees, Changu Changu Moto coordinators, tree planting coordinators and lead tree farmers and sweet potato farmers. These groups will then cascade the message to other community members in their areas.
- Therefore, this will cover not only Nkhata Bay District but the fishing communities of Nkhotakota and Salima Districts and some of the forested areas of Mzimba District.
- One member from five committees will attend each training session. We will also train 100 churches in the local area and provide leaflets to health facilities.
- We have also provided the District Councils in Nkhata Bay and Nkhotakota Districts with leaflets for the Area and Village Development Committees.
- Mobile awareness campaign using a vehicle and speakers.
Why Ripple Africa
Ripple Africa is well placed to support the community education programme as we have an extensive network of conservation committees spread across the districts in which we are working. We have over 5,000 volunteers who form our fish and forest conservation committees, support the building of our Changu Changu Moto fuel efficient cookstoves and support the farmers and community groups in our tree planting and sweet potato projects. All of these volunteers have considerable experience of delivering messages around conservation to their fellow community members and we propose that we equip them with the information and resources needed to do the same on coronavirus. This gives Ripple Africa a considerably larger outreach network than the District Health Department.