WaterStep Disaster first started working in Malawi in 2019 after Cyclone Idai caused severe destruction to the country and its infrastructure. During this time, WaterStep met with BASEflow, a non-profit organization in Malawi concerned about the health and well- being of those living without essential access to safe water and basic sanitation.
In this country, 20% of the population does not have access to adequate drinking water. Furthermore, only 6% of the population has access to suitable sanitation facilities. As a result of these shortages, combined with poor drinking water storage options, waterborne illnesses like cholera are rife in Malawi. Following the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in 2019 and the Covid-19 pandemic, these issues have steadily increased, requiring urgent intervention.
WaterStep responded to effects of the cyclone by providing Bleach Makers (point of use water treatment), to assist with proper sanitation and disinfection. WaterStep estimated that we helped over 6,250 people with safe water and distributed disinfectant to over 1,200 households within refugee camps.
Annmarie Morin | WaterStep Ambassador
BASEflow’s Annmarie Morin took on the task of implementing the bleach-making initiative that was introduced by WaterStep. When the system was first introduced, Annmarie was focused on coordinating the production and distribution of bleach to households that were affected by the massive floods caused by hurricane Idai. Baseflow was able to reach 2313 households with bleach to be used for disinfecting surfaces and hand washing, as well as provide hygiene training for the use of these products.
When the global Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Malawians were once again in urgent need of sanitation assistance. BASEflow was able to rally support to access bleach and use the WaterStep equipment they had been trained to use to implement sanitation practices in 35 health care facilities in rural Blantyre.
WaterStep is proud to have been able to provide this life-saving equipment to communities that need it most.