Zimbota Village, Malawi is a rural village in Thyolo District, southern Malawi. The people have been practicing Farming God’s Way here, an effective no till farming method which incorporates biblical discipleship to equip the people who practice FGW and learn to grow more crops to feed their families and to sell. The discipleship groups are called God’s Love Groups GLGs). Our ministry partners have been working very faithfully here with the people and small teams of the GLGs. This village, like so many others where they are working, has discovered their most urgent physical need is for access to clean water.
Their current water source is a spring. It is a 4 km walk. The water is contaminated; it’s open, and animals use the water, too. In this area, common water-related disease is cholera, bilharzia (schistosomiasis), dysentery. People suffer with scabies, too. Children are often sick and miss school. During the dry season the water reduces or even stops. When this happens the people go farther for water. For the long walk home, the ladies carry the heavy load of water on their heads.
Currently, Malawi is experiencing a serious and deadly cholera outbreak in the nation, one of the worst in its history. In the past year [there have been] over 50K reported cases and 1500 deaths. The Republic of Malawi Ministry of Health provides a daily update for reported cholera cases. The dates we checked in recent times showed an average of 400 cases reported each day, an average of 740 people in the hospital, and a 3.16% death rate of reported cases. This disease can be avoided and stopped by providing access to safe, clean water.
Our ministry partner, Charles Mithowa, is the main director for these well projects and he [and his team] have completed many. These are very reliable partners and we have had excellent success in our relationship with them to date. Heaven’s Family sister ministry, Farming God’s Way, has been working with Charles for some years now. The farming program is changing lives of poor farmers by helping them raise more food and teaching discipleship. The government of Malawi has recognized the success of our Farming God’s Way program with these partners.
We do not do projects unless we have formed an ongoing partnership with any ministry partner who is
involved in any Safe Water Ministry project, with a good track record of accountability. We require ‘before’ marker photos where the well will be drilled. We collect pertinent details that describe the need, collect completion photos, reports and
testimonies. The driller will be the same as long as they keep doing good work. They have been very accommodating.
We desire to protect the on-going success of the well once it’s complete. As a part of our process, we require all of our ministry partners to agree to prepare for and manage any future maintenance on the well. The receiving partner ministry may take on the responsibility and/or they may create a water commission, have community meetings, and have the community agree to contribute in some way, according to ability. It is very important that the local people know that this is ‘their’ well. When they know they have ownership they will work to take care of it best they can. The whole community agrees how best to manage the water asset. Often times very small fees are charged for the future management of the well. The process varies from place to place. Here with this particular ministry, ‘God’s Love Groups,’ discipleship groups in place for our Farming God’s Way ministry, will direct some of the management. The beneficiaries will contribute a small amount to pay for maintenance. Both the GLG teams and community authorities shall manage the property for permanent use for the community.
Zimbota Village is in urgent need of clean water. The benefits would be many. The people would have clean water to drink, water to bathe with and cook with. The kids would be able to go to school, instead of spending so much time collecting water. The little money [the villagers] earn, that must be spent on medicine and hospital trips [now,] would be saved. The old and infirm would be able to get water, and not suffer trying to go far for water. Their health would improve immediately. The people would see how the Lord does care for them, through such a transformative gift. The FGW presence would be strengthened, and more people would become involved in meaningful disciple-making groups. The estimated cost of the well project is $3,500 for materials and labor. If it is funded in June 2023, it is projected to be completed in July 2023.
Farming God’s Way is an important ministry here. And here, like in other villages where Farming God’s Way ministry is implemented, positive changes can be seen in the community. This village has many families that are practicing the no till farming method to be able to grow more food and incorporates discipleship groups. These are called God’s Love Groups, discipleship groups which focus on biblical teaching, regular meetings to disciple and work together. Previous community situation was that the people really only worked for themselves, just totally scraping by, but [they are now] experiencing the successful results of greater food yield, with discipleship to bring people closer to the Lord and know the Lord has helped them to be able to feed themselves and sell some and help others. They now share their excess with the elderly and destitute. Greater dignity and purpose is another benefit for these very poor people whom the government has forgotten.
All projects are made possible by World Changers.