208103 Water First: Reaching the Millennium Development Goals

Monday, November 9, 2009: 10:30 AM

Charles Banda , Freshwater Project Malawi, Chileka-Blantyre, Malawi

To portray the importance of potable water for Malawians, explain health determinants of water-borne diseases, and discuss relation to UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). WATER FIRST conveys the critical role of clean water in addressing global public health issues from hunger and poverty to women's equality, HIV/AIDS and environmental sustainability.


Nearly one in seven children in Malawi will not see their fifth birthday primarily due to preventable waterborne diseases. Malawi ranks 165/177 on UNDP Human Development Index, and 5th lowest GDP in the world. Over 60% of the population lives without access to clean water. UNAIDS cites 14.1% HIV prevalence those 15-49 y.o.; 78K AIDS deaths in 2005; and 550K AIDS orphans in Malawi. V.cholera alone caused 682 cases and 26 deaths from 11/08-1/09 (http://www.who.int/hac/crises/afro_update_26jan2009.pdf) without counting diarrhea and malaria as well. Fresh water needed for agriculture to mitigate chronic malnutrition among 44% of pre-schoolers per Malawi/World Bank.


Personal interviews and documentary film. Project utilized stakeholder meetings, community mobilization, borehole drilling, pit latrine construction, community based management training, monitoring and evaluation via four assessment tools.


Since 1995, approximately 800 borehole wells and 5000 pit latrines have been constructed in the Chileka region of Malawi. Incidence of waterborne illnesses at the Chileka Health Center has dropped from 70% to 6%.


Increase fundraising efforts, promote additional community health promotion and raise awareness of relation of human rights and potable water. Request review for Individual Presentation, Film Festival, Special Groups and Poster Session Categories.

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate importance of potable water for Malawians. Explain health determinants of water-borne diseases. Demonstrate relationship between Freshwater Project Malawi and Water First documentary film. Discuss impact of potable water on food instability, women's equality, environmental sustainability, and overall UN Millennium Development Goals.

Keywords: Water, Human Rights

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For Charles Banda: He is one of the founding members and current Executive Director of Freshwater Project. He founded the organization in 1995 while working as a fireman and taxi driver at the Chileka Airport as well as being a minister. Mr. Banda has taken project management courses within Chileka and studied Social Work and Community Development in Arusha, Tanzania and the University of Denver.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.