The fly on the wall: Dennis' story

2 min read

Dennis works for WaterAid Malawi and got to witness the special day when clean water arrived in Vimphere.

My last visit to Vimphere was like no other.

During previous visits, the village had been a quiet place. But this time I could only see one or two people going about their business.

Men, women – and especially children – were busy jumping from one house to another sharing the good news.

They had heard that engineers were on their way to drill for water. And when they spotted our vehicle with a WaterAid logo, they knew the rumours were true.

Surrounded by hills and the Kasungu mountain range, Vimphere residents have been struggling to fetch water for a very long time. The rocky terrain made it hard to dig deep wells to access water underground.

A long, anxious wait

For hours people waited anxiously – even the village's chief, Chidzuma. But when they saw a trail of dust and realised the rig was approaching, there were happy songs and dancing.

The beginning of a life with no water woes was about to start.

With a smiling face, Chief Chidzuma offered strong handshakes to our team. It was a moment to remember, and I quickly grabbed my camera to capture it.

The next day, the hard work began. In the scorching heat, men and women worked hard to ferry rocky sand – all while smiling and singing happy tunes. The excitement was everywhere.

'Thank you for bringing us water!'

At around 10am, the rigs struck water. Everyone cheered so loudly that people from nearby villages heard, and started flocking to see what was happening.

As a token of appreciation, the chief invited us all to share a meal with them. We danced and sang together, and one of the young girls in the crowd shouted, “Thank you WaterAid for bringing us water!”

As we left the village everyone, including the chief, bid us farewell with happy faces. I felt my heart melt as I thought to myself “Oh how much I enjoy this job."

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