Malawi’s Non-Governmental Organisation, Water Aid has partnered with the cyclists, who are on a long cycling trip across the length of the country from Nsanje to Chitipa and back to Blantyre (1,755kms) to raise funds for charity.
The group of cyclists have two, Stewart Kambewa and Kwame Kayira, on the ground cycling to raise funds to drill one borehole each in nine villages in nine districts.
They left on their noble venture on Saturday from Marka, Nsanje and by Wednesday they set off from Dwangwa in Nkhotakota and arrived in Nkhata Bay on their 5th leg, covering 139.97kms. They have now done 792.647kms from Nsanje to Nkhata Bay.
On Thursday, they head for Rumphi, passing over Mzuzu midday.
Water Aid’s Country Director Mercy Masoo said the NGO will support the charity initiatiave by profiling the event and organise a welcome event as the cyclists pass through Lilongwe on their way back from the North.
Water Aid will be mobilising Lilongwe-based sponsors, especially the NGO community, to donate to the cause which shall be presented at the Lilongwe welcome event.
The NGO shall also provide financial support for a few boreholes.
“The cyclists are aiming at nine boreholes, but we feel with enhanced publicity, they can rake more than nine boreholes,” Masoo said.
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,” Kambewa said. “This translates to an estimated MK13.5 million for the nine boreholes.
“Besides, there will also be a need for an additional MK1.974 million to cater for all the other incidental costs for the activity. In total, we need MK15.5 for the whole initiative.”
Team leader Kambewa said they are encouraged with this support and are very enthusiastic to successfully complete the daunting task.
“We’re are also grateful that we haven’t had any problems along the way since we started from Nsanje,” he said. “There were no flat tyres and the support vehicle has run smoothly.”
He said they are also grateful to people who provided them with lunch such as Mr Manyozo on Saturday at Ngabu, Justin Kufakuwawa — a professional cyclist who provided them with lunch at his restaurant on Sunday at Kameza and Mr and Mrs Yona at Ntakataka, who hosted them on Monday.
The group, which has been cycling for leisure but would now like to engage in social responsibilities to the benefit of the nation, is inviting the corporate world and other sympathisers to partner with Cycle For Change for sponsorship support that can either be direct — through monetary, or materially — or indirect through what they have termed as ‘Adopt a Borehole’ initiative or any other means that sponsors find it possible and best to support the cause.
“Water is a great foundation of life, but clean water is life. In many parts of our country, especially rural areas, finding a reliable source of clean water is often time-consuming and expensive. In some places, it is simply dry.
“In others, this most critical need is literally only a few feet below ground waiting to sustain life. Many people spend their entire day at times walking long distances searching for clean water.
“Time lost gathering water and suffering from water-borne diseases is limiting people’s true potential, especially women and girls. Education is lost to sickness, so are the other contributors to the country’s social and economic development,” the group says in its appeal.”
They will cycle from Nsanje to Chitipa in 10 days from October 1-10 and back from Mzuzu to Blantyre in five days from October 13-17.
They say those interested to support financially can do so through bank account name of Cycle for Change at FMB Blantyre Branch savings account number 0003502001333, or Airtel Money: 0997 111 444 and TNM Mpamba: 0888 354 285.
They are updating their activity through their Facebook page cycleforchangemalawi.
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