Twenty-five treadle pumps arrived in the African nation of Malawi last week, courtesy of the Seneca Falls and Clifton Springs Rotary Clubs and Clifton Charities. The pumps were purchased in the country’s capital Lilongwe, home of 780,000 people, and taken to the Malawi Children’s Village on the shores of Lake Malawi. These pumps will be used to help with irrigation projects.
The local Rotary-sponsored program is spearheaded by David Markel, and he will be going to Malawi later this year to check on the project. His wife, Melissa will be traveling to Malawi with him in September. She will be helping at the Open Arms Orphan Care Center, the Koche medical clinic, and the Bolera Palms Elementary School while I work on irrigation.
The Seneca Falls Rotary Club employs a Malawi resident to help supervise and coordinate the various projects. Bill Cram, a Rotary member and owner of Bill Cram Chevrolet in Seneca Falls supplied stainless steel clamps for attaching hoses to the pumps. While those seals can be found in Malawi, they are very expensive there.
Currently, the projects are active in 10 villages surrounding Lake Malawi, and the additional pumps will help in the effort to expand the water projects to 37 villages. The projects are intended to be self-sufficient. The produce and grains raised through the irrigation project, the clean drinking water and the educational programs available through the schools at the Malawi Children’s Village have allowed residents to improve the quality of life in the villages and maintain the water projects.
The Seneca Falls Rotary Club sponsors a Jazz Festival each September to provide funding for expanding the water programs in Malawi. This year’s Wine Water and all that Jazz Festival will be at Goose Watch Winery on Sunday September 9th.