Mapiko Well Project – Malawi


Mapiko Village, Traditional Authority Kalonga, Salima District, Central Region, Malawi


Mapiko Village is located along the northern border of the Kuti Wildlife Reserve.  It is an active village of over 2,000 residents, with one primary school.

The residents are predominantly farmers focused on maize and cotton.  The village currently manages a village woodlot with honey bee hives and has a profitable village savings and loan program.

In addition, there is a ladies group that has successfully run a thriving clay mbaula stove-making business.  Last year the village was successful in establishing, maintaining, and out-planting a tree nursery consisting of 6,000 trees.

Problem Addressed

Currently the village has only one borehole providing water for the 2,000 residents.  The area has little elevation change.  There are high temperatures and no nearby rivers or streams.

The one borehole in the village has very long wait times, and as a result fights tend to break out over who is next in line.  The next closest borehole is in a neighboring village over 5 kilometers away.


This project is to build a well as a new water source in the village of Mapiko.

The well will be hand dug by Lloyd, who will also install the pump.  He is familiar with this type of project, having completed several similar installations in the area.

Lloyd has visited the village and with the village chief determined the best location for a covered well to alleviate pressure on the current borehole.  With the help of 3 people from the village, he will complete the project in a week.

The first 5 days will include digging the well and lining it with bricks and cement.  The last two days will be spent installing the pump and laying the cement cap and quarry stone surrounding.

The Malda pump and pipes will be purchased from Kalaria Hardware in Lilongwe.  This is a direct-action pump that can be used for depths of up to 15 meters.  It can serve up to 300 people with a water demand of 15 to 20 liters of water per person per day. The above-ground parts are galvanized and stainless steel, and the underground components are HDPE pipes, so it is fully resistant to corrosion.

One of the Kuti Wildlife Reserve Trustees has trucks regularly traveling from Lilongwe to the park and will be able to transport the pump and pipes to Mapiko.  The 5 bags of cement needed will be purchased from Salima. The village will provide 2,500 bricks, one oxcart of sand, and 3 wheelbarrows of quarry stone, in addition to providing housing for Lloyd.

Water Charity funds will pay for the pump, cement, and the skilled labor.


2,000 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project

Gretchen Ruhl

Monitoring and Maintenance

Chief Mapiko will organize a committee of village members to oversee the maintenance and care of the covered well.  The committee will oversee both the current borehole and the new covered well.

The village members will contribute 50 MWK per month to establish a fund to cover future maintenance.


This is a crucial infrastructure project that will greatly improve the health and wellbeing of the members of the community.  It will save them time in collecting water by eliminating long waits and lengthy trips to other villages.

Fundraising Target


Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.

Donations Collected to Date


Dollar Amount Needed

$0.00 – This project has now been paid for with funds from the First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin and friends and family of Peace Corps Volunteer Gretchen Ruhl.

This project has bee completed.  To see the results, CLICK HERE.