Under the leadership of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Rotary Club a total of 10 Rotary Clubs from both sides of the Niagara River have joined together in providing funding for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health Facilities (WASH) in Rumphi District, Malawi.
A total of $8,000 USD has been raised for upgrading water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in Chisimuka Clinic.
Interest in the project was inspired by The World Health Organization and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) recently released ‘WASH in Health Care Facilities – Global Baseline Report 2019’, a global assessment presenting the stark inadequacy of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in Health Care Facilities (HCFs).
Rotary Club of NOTL Project Leader Gordon Young points out that “WASH services are of fundamental importance for basic human health and thus for education and economic development”.
World Water Day is on March 22, 2021 and March is Rotary International’s Water and Sanitation Month.
In 2018, Transform International (TI) and their partner, the Desert Research Institute (DRI) were approached to undertake a program to develop a tool kit that would improve sustainability of WASH systems in HCFs.
To date they have taken the following steps:
- A global landscape review of literature on improving sustainability of WASH systems in HCFs
- On-the-ground research in Rumphi District, Malawi, gathering data from 18 HCFs in the district (2 hospitals, a few outposts, and 13 clinics most of which offer maternity services and outpatient departments) on barriers to sustainability of the WASH systems
Transform International is working collaboratively with the Rumphi District Council to build a program addressing infrastructure shortcomings in these 18 HCFs, and this project will be the first element in this program – addressing WASH shortcomings at the Chisimuka Clinic.
Young also points out that “sustainability is of fundamental importance to ensure that the functioning of installed infrastructure is maintained in the future”.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 50.7 percent of the population living below the poverty line and 25 percent living in extreme poverty.
The Chisimuka Project
Chisimuka Clinic has access to water near the facility. A borehole exists nearby with a small capacity solar pump. Water quality is good. It also has pipes, toilets, showers, sinks inside, but not connected to the water supply.
The project will provide a larger storage tank and piping from the new tank to the clinic and to 4 nearby staff houses. Upgrading will also be performed on interior plumbing fittings and the washrooms will be renovated.
This upgraded system will provide much easier access to water for cleaning, drinking, cooking, bathing, and most important: handwashing with soap.
While the main area of focus is water, sanitation and hygiene by improving water supply, sanitation and hygiene in a healthcare clinic, these upgrades will also help with disease prevention and treatment.
Rotary Club of Niagara-on-the-Lake
- Gordon Young – Project Leader
- Patrick MacNeill – Deputy Project Leader
- Jodey Porter (NOTL RC ISC Chair)
- Ben Buholtz
- Mike Clarke
Transform International (Canada)
- Nancy Gilbert (Past District Governor – District 7810)
- Daniel Nyirenda (Malawi) – on contract to TIC
Participating Rotary Clubs
- Rotary Club of Niagara-on-the-Lake
- Rotary Club of St. Catharines
- Rotary Club of Niagara Falls ON
- Rotary Club of Niagara Falls Sunrise
- Rotary Club of Simcoe
- Rotary Club of St. Catharines South
- Rotary Club of Buffalo Sunrise
- Rotary Club of Fonthill
- Rotary Club BNMC (Buffalo Medical Center)
- Margaret Andrewes (Rotary Club of Lincoln)
Patrick MacNeill, Project Coordinator