EWB in Malawi – Water and Sanitation 2010
A weblog by Shehin Rahemtulla – University of Victoria Junior Fellow for Engineers without Borders

BASEDA and other water players


BASEDA and other water players

 I thought the best way to explain whats going on would be through a diagram:

Lilongwe district water hierarchy

Explanation of “Lilongwe District Water Point Functionality Hierarchy” Diagram

The Regional Water Office (RWO) sends out “Borehole Overseers” (BH) who, like Water Monitoring Assistants (WMAs), repair boreholes free of charge.

These BHs may have been contacted by a member of parliament who was contacted by the community.  The BHs live in the capital and use motorcycles to travel to the broken water point. The District Water Office (DWO) sends out WMAs to do the same job as BH.  BASEDA sends out Maintenance Assistants (MA) to support Local Artisans (LAs) who repair boreholes in exchange for a labour charge. Other NGOs may repair boreholes or have their own area mechanic system in place and most of the time, repair water points free of charge.  All the coloured lines leading to the ‘community water points’ interfere with the Local Artisans work and cause the community to be dependent on free repair, which in turn causes them to be even more unwilling to pay a Local Artisan.

BASEDA used to report to the DWO.  We should still be working closely with the district however ties seem to have been broken.  The DWO reports to the RWO however there appears to be no coordination between the two. 

There should be communication between the BH and WMA.  Currently, I don’t know if that line of communication exists.

There is no communication between a lot of other NGO’s and the district even though I feel that this line of communication is so crucial to development.  A lot of NGOs refuse to work with the government because of a pain-in-the-neck barrier called an “allowance” (another topic for another blog).

2 Responses to “BASEDA and other water players”

  1. Hi Shehin,
    I have been doing research on village collective action and cooperation regarding pump repair in 5 villages in central Malawi for the last 5 months. (its for a PhD, I am at u of A).

    I would really like to share some info with you if possible and find out more about BASEDA. Of course I can supply you with any findings of my own if need be.

    Brian Joubert

    • Hey Brian,
      just sent you an email to your gmail account. For sure you can share some info with me, we’re always interested in knowing what else is going with regards to water access and development projects in the areas we work in.


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