Malawi’s Non-Governmental Organisation, Water Aid, who partnered with the cyclists who are on a long cycling trip across the length of the country to raise funds to drill one borehole each in nine villages in nine districts, has pledged K7 miilion and is drumming support from other NGOs.
The cyclists left Mzuzu on Tuesday 11th October arrived in Lilongwe on Wednesday and the NGOs who are involved in water projects organised a welcome reception for them at the Area 18 National Memorial Tower monument.
The group of cyclists have two, Stewart Kambewa and Kwame Kayira, on the ground cycling and they started their mission on October 1 from Nsanje to Chitipa in eight days. They are returning to Blantyre from Mzuzu, stopping at Nkhamenya, then Lilongwe on Wednesday, Ntcheu on Thursday, Zalewa on Friday and reaching Blantyre on Saturday, the 15th of October, covering a total of 1,755kms.
As an example of their serious intention, the group handed over on 17th September a borehole in Mehera Village, Traditional Authority Mkanda in Mulanje District that cost MK1.5.
They target to raise MK15.5 million to drill the boreholes in Nsanje, Mulanje, Balaka, Dedza, Salima, Dowa, Nkhata Bay, Mzimba and Chitipa.
One borehole costs approximately MK1.5 million and this translates to an estimated MK13.5 million for the nine boreholes.
They also be a need an additional MK1.974 million to cater for all the other incidental costs for the activity and in total, they require MK15.5 for the whole initiative.
Through their Country Director Mercy Masoo, Water Aid has volunteered to publicise and coordinate the participation of those who would like to support the cycling event.
“Many thanks to Water for People, who have indicated their support to the Blantyre leg, World Vision and Pointaz Concept (Tithokoze Khonyongwa) for the Lilongwe event.
“The space for support is very open, with almost 500km to go and 9 boreholes pledged to quench the thirst of 2,250 people.
“As you can see from the tentative programme, WaterAid has been given a space to present a cheque based on a MK7m pledge that we have made to the cause. However, we would like to give up that space and honour to anyone who will be ready to give more than MK7m.” Masoo said in her communication.
The MC Multi Media (MC Studios) in conjunction with WASH Partners International will joined the cyclists at Malawi Institute of Management (MIM), using a studio publicity van, announcing to the public along the route to the Area 18 Monument.
They had two videographers shooting from the entry into Lilongwe from MIM to the Monument Tower and will escort them out of Lilongwe.
In about 10 days time, an edited video of the “Clean Water Challenge ride through Lilongwe” will be available at a token price. A percentage of the sales will be donated to the same course.
Islamic Relief Malawi and Wash have donated the use of their borehole rigging equipment for the Southern Region districts — Nsanje, Mulanje and Balaka.
Minister of Sports, who was guest of honour at the welcome party, donated MK500,000 from his pocket.
Masoo said she appreciated the great media coverage which is essential for the publicity of the last leg.
“We are considering a long term fundraising partnership with Cycle for Change with the aim of taking them beyond Malawi borders for fundraising,” she said.
Other NGOs courted include Water For People, Pumpaid, Plan International, Christian Aid, Concern Universal, Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Developm (FISD) and many others.
Masoo said that the cyclists are aiming at nine boreholes, but with enhanced publicity, they can rake more than nine boreholes.
On their Facebook page CleanWaterCycle999, the cyclists said: “We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the cause we are pursuing in one way or the other. We are so thankful. Feel it in your hearts that what you have done, we will always be cherished by the team and the communities who will benefit from the cause.
“We are still appealing to all Malawians of good will to assist us fulfilling the cause. We really wish we could do more. To donate please find details below: Account Name: Cycle For Change. Bank: FMB Blantyre Branch. Savings Account Number: 0003502001333 or Airtel Money: 0997 111 444 TNM Mpamba: 0888 354 285
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