Daniel Weber recently returned from an assignment in the African country of Malawi for World Water Corps, the volunteer arm of Water For People (WFP). WFP is a nonprofit international development organization dedicated to increasing access to safe drinking water and improving sanitation and health. Professional volunteers of the World Water Corps serve the needs of WFP, its local communities, and its partners to encourage local investment, foster local motivation, and use local resources to produce lasting results.
Dan served on a four-member team of hydrogeologists and engineers. The group partnered with the Blantyre Water Board (BWB), the sole municipal supplier of drinking water for one of Malawi’s larger cities, with the goal of developing strategies to augment surface water supplies from the Shire River. The region suffers from acute infrastructure problems and BWB is unable to provide sufficient supplies to support the city’s growing population. Shortages are particularly problematic in the outlying lower-income areas farthest from city supplies, where community members gather water from draw points (kiosks).
Dan worked with the World Water Corps team and BWB staff to initiate plans for using groundwater to augment the city’s supply. They designed a groundwater development program that targets well sites in shallow, weathered bedrock and deep, fractured-rock aquifers.