On May 4, 2006 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, The Honorable Clement Chiwaya, our representative in Malawi had the pleasure of meeting with Bono to offer his assistance in facilitating the work Bono is doing in Malawi.
On May 6, 2006, Clement was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Social Sciences from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Upon our arrival in Namatanda Village in Malawi in February of 2004, it became clear right away that water was a serious problem. We were there to hold the groundbreaking ceremony for the new school, but, clearly, we had to do something to help provide a source of safe water immediately. The only source of water was the contaminated river they were sharing with their animals and using for bathing and washing clothes as well as for drinking. It was an urgent situation. Villagers were getting sick. The school project would have to be put on hold temporarily. When The Honorable Clement Chiwaya, our representative in Malawi, told the villagers we were going to drill at least one water well, they erupted with joy.
A month later, in March of 2004, we successfully drilled 2 water wells providing the 3000 people of Namatanda Village with 2 sources of safe water. One well is by the school and the other is more centrally located so the children will not be disturbed by activity at the well while in school. We are greatly relieved to be able to say that deadly water borne diseases should no longer be a story in this village.
We now have systems in place to drill beautiful wells with hand pumps like the one in the picture for ~$2,500 each. Clement has developed a great working relationship with the driller who has reduced the price of the wells as we have continued to drill more wells. He knows he can count on us for prompt payment so we are high on his priority list. We can now drill a well for a village within weeks, even days of the arrival of the funds in Malawi. The importance of this cannot be overstated as the lack of clean water is a crisis in these villages. People are dying from water borne diseases every day. For less than $2 per villager, we can literally save lives.