The Chiwisi Under Five’s Clinic…
Chiwisi is a remote community located 10 kilometres north of Usiya on the shores of Lake Malawi. Access to the lake, and the rich and fertile soils means that it is a good location for farming and fishing which the people depend upon for income. Getting to Chiwisi is a difficult task with no direct roads, instead, there are pathways that become impassible with heavy rain. This means that access to clean water is difficult and access to the hospital – a 3 hour walk away – is even harder.In Nkhata Bay North 3 out of 5 people suffer from waterborne diseases each year…
Until just a few years ago, the community was badly in need of safe drinking water. Many in the community frequently suffered from waterborne diseases which were often fatal for young children. With the hospital being so far away, families had to spend a large portion of their income on transport getting to and from the hospital. Those who couldn’t afford the journey couldn’t access healthcare at all.
The community in Chiwisi first came into contact with Temwa through our agriculture and forestry programme which provided training in sustainable farming techniques and seeds to the community. The community then requested to join the Water Filter project that Temwa had piloted in a nearby village so that they could have clean water.
The water filters were given to each household for a subsidised price of 5,000 Malawian Kwacha (about £5 GBP). Decided by the community, this money was then reinvested into a project they knew would change lives, a health clinic of their own. This functions as an outreach clinic where healthcare staff from the main health centres come and provide regular services. Life after the water filter project…We have reduced cases of waterborne diseases. We have constructed an under-five clinic which is currently serving not just our community but also the surrounding areas, so our children can grow healthy. The community can now concentrate on development activities since everyone is healthy.
Here are just a few of the benefits provided by the new health clinic:
- Community members don’t have to travel so often to the main hospital, and only go there for serious cases.
- Families can save money which would have been used for transportation to the hospital and can now use it on other things like school uniforms or books for children.
- Women and children have found relief now that the clinic is close-by as regular support is available for young children and new mothers.
What does the community of Chiwisi hope for in the future…
Despite the life-changing nature of the new health clinic, it lacks access to electricity – a common feature of many rural health centres. The community hopes to be able to get electricity access to the health clinic in the future. They also hope to one day have a full-time doctor at the clinic.
Thanks to your support, Temwa has been able to reduce waterborne diseases by 85% in the five villages that have so far benefitted from this project.
You can support the expansion of this project to other communities like Chiwisi by becoming a regular donor. By donating £10 a month for one year you can help 34 people access safe and clean drinking water for 3 years.