WaterAid is an International Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to helping people escape from suffering caused by lack of safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene. WaterAid in Malawi has remained a key player in the WASH sector, working closely with partners and stakeholders, to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone everywhere. Our work has had significant impact on many aspects of human life such as health, education and creation of economic opportunities. We believe that universal access to safe water, improved sanitation and good hygiene will have a lasting impact in contributing towards the eradication of extreme poverty among the poorest and marginalized groups and communities in Malawi. At policy level, we have influenced and shaped policy and advocacy agenda of WASH sector in Malawi, contributed to the adoption of tested technologies, and approaches by other players.

Since 1999, WaterAid  has made significant contribution towards improving access to safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene through a range of projects implemented in Salima, Mzimba, Machinga, Nkhotakota, Karonga, Rumphi, Balaka, Dedza, Ntcheu, Chikwawa and Kasungu districts;  Lilongwe city and small towns of Kasungu and Mponela.

Working with local councils, local NGOs and Utility Companies WaterAid has supported the construction and rehabilitation of water points in various districts, rehabilitation and expansion of gravity fed systems in Nkhotakota and Machinga and various sanitation and hygiene promotion interventions targeting households and public institutions including Health Care Facilities. Recently, WaterAid has modelled the provision of WASH and MNH services in Health Care Facilities in three districts of Kasungu, Nkhotakota, Machinga where we have provided sanitation facilities, safe water, incinerators and placenta pits including community boreholes and training on infection prevention for health care workers. WaterAid has also been influential in shaping the policy and advocacy agenda of the WASH sector in Malawi. We have also contributed to sector learning and influenced the adoption of tested technologies and approaches by other players in the sector which include ecosan latrine options and management models for urban water kiosks. 

Since 1999, WaterAid Malawi has worked alongside government, the private sector and development partners in Balaka, Chikwawa, Dedza, Karonga, Kasungu, Mzimba, Nkhotakota, Rumphi, Machinga and Salima districts, Lilongwe City and small towns of Mponela, and Kasungu Municipality.  In these districts, WaterAid has modelled provision of WASH in schools, Health centers and communities through construction and rehabilitation of water points, rehabilitation and expansion of gravity-fed systems, construction of sanitation infrastructure in schools and health centres, and empowering citizens through engagement and training for the realization of their WASH rights. In the current 2016-2021 strategy, WaterAid is maintaining presence in Kasungu, Machinga, Nkhotakota, Lilongwe City as well as small towns of Kasungu and Mponela.

WaterAid works in partnership with the central and local government, water utility companies, local organizations and civil society organizations. Its current partners include:

  • Amref Health Africa
  • Central Region Water Board
  • Evangelical Lutheran Development Support (ELDS)
  • Lilongwe Water Board
  • Mineral Appropriate Technology Applicable in Malawi (MATAMA)
  • National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE)

Our work is principally guided by our national strategy (2016-2021), which reflects the global goals enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Number 6, which places clean water and sanitation as a core agenda for sustainable development. Using our strategy, we have made some key shifts by integrating WASH with other sectors especially Health, Education and nutrition and also paying special attention to sanitation and hygiene. This is to endeavour that sanitation and hygiene is recognized and prioritized across sectors as a public health concern and that there is increased adoption of behaviour change at scale. In line with this strategic shift, WaterAid in Malawi is undertaking interventions through three distinct but related work streams, with integration cutting across all these;


  • Sector strengthening and influencing

This work stream focuses on WASH and maternal and new-born health policy integration, mainly through assessment of national policies, frameworks and coordination mechanisms and ensuring that these are integrating WASH issues. Through working with government, civil society and development partners, it also identifies whether WASH targets and indicators are adequately incorporated in all spheres within the WASH sector and beyond.


  • Modelling service delivery

This focuses on delivering a comprehensive package of WASH interventions to demonstrate what can be achieved when water, sanitation and hygiene are fully integrated in the other sectors- health, education and nutrition. Through working with government and other key players, we create an enabling environment that fosters innovation, best practice and shared learning.


  • Citizen empowerment

Our citizen empowerment approach focuses on building the capacity and capabilities of the communities, to demand and hold the duty bearers to account, in recognition of their critical role in monitoring service provision and ensuring that their rights to WASH and health are respected. Our Citizen Action Initiative approach has yielded so much impact where we have seen communities accessing WASH and other services because they have been empowered to demand for such services. 


Given the enormous work to be implemented, WaterAid continues to collaborate with organizations and networks that will help the Country Programme achieve its strategic objectives. Our new approach of integration of WASH and health and nutrition, has also raised the need for further collaborative partnerships.