Rehabilitating Wells with Handpumps in Malawi


Funded: 2022

Population: 19.1 million

Capital: Lilongwe

Primary languages: English, Chichewa

Primary religions: Christianity, Islam


Malawi is one of Africa’s most densely populated and least developed countries with 70% of the population living below the income poverty line. To date, they rank 174 out of 189 countries on the 2020 Human
Development Index. Recent droughts and floods have destroyed already underdeveloped water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure, and approximately 35% of the rural population continues to
lack access to clean drinking water.


Water For People (WFP)


Water For People Malawi’s work is currently concentrated in Chikhwawa and Chiradzulu Districts. Chikhwawa is not only one of the poorest districts in the country, but its location along the Lower Shire River also makes it prone to both droughts and flooding. In comparison, Chiradzulu’s hilly, rocky terrain hinders access to clean water, and just 54% of the population has access to a sanitation facility.



Hand pumps are used when groundwater is available and reachable by either mechanical or manual drilling methods. Sometimes, however, existing water points need repairs that exceed the financial or technical capacity of the local government and community. Rehabilitating a well can cost almost as much as building a new one because rehabilitation may require heavy machinery, replacement of hardware and concrete, or the reformation of Water Point Committees. Still, it’s an efficient solution because the need to drill a new well is avoided.