Malawi villagers trained to fix hand pumps, ensuring access to clean water

A team of volunteers from nonprofit WaterStep recently trained 31 villagers to repair 50 hand pumps in their town of Embangweni, which is located in the Mzimba district in the Northern Region of Malawi...

LOUISVILLE, KY, Sept. 26, 2012 -- A team of volunteers from WaterStep, a nonprofit organization that works to save lives at risk from waterborne illness around the world, recently trained 31 villagers in the town of Embangweni to repair 50 hand pumps in their town, which is located in the Mzimba district in the Northern Region of Malawi. The repaired pumps are attached to freshwater wells that service the village's primary school, as well as other nearby facilities and residential areas. Due to the pump repairs, thousands of women no longer need to walk for miles to rivers and open wells for water, and children no longer have to suffer from unsafe water.

"Training members of the community empowers them to become self-sufficient, while giving them the knowledge and the tools to teach others," says Robert Holloway, Rotarian and WaterStep volunteer. "Our goal going into these areas, such as Embangweni, is to become a catalyst to bring about real, lasting change and a sustainable solution to the water problem."

The WaterStep volunteers that provided the two classes of training were Holloway, Lynn Smith and Larry Bentley. The first class held included participants from the north part of the country near Embangweni and the Zambian border, while the second session's students were from the area down near the capital - Lilongwe. The average cost of a deep bore well with a hand pump is $8.000.00. By training and repairing the 50 defective hand pumps, $400,000 was saved.

WaterStep staff and volunteers visit third-world countries each year to help the more than 1.1 billion people worldwide affected by the global water crisis. To learn more about WaterStep and how to help, call (502) 568-6342 or visit

About WaterStep
WaterStep is a Louisville-based 501(c)(3) organization that provides solutions to the root causes of waterborne illness through an approach that combines unparalleled training and readily-available technology to empower self-sufficiency for people in crisis around the world. WaterStep is currently working to establish training centers in India, Costa Rica, and Haiti. To learn more, call (502) 568-6342 or visit


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