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Wöhler’s Christmas Donation Project 2017

Wöhler’s Christmas Donation Project 2017

Wöhler Brush Tech donates € 2,500 for water wells, guaranteeing clean drinking water for orphans in Malawi.

Something that we very much take for granted is still a matter of life and death in Malawi: Clean drinking water! Our #1 food item is still a luxury good in one of the poorest countries in the World.

Malawi in South-East Africa has a population of 17 million. The main source of income is agriculture. Life expectancy is shockingly low between just 35 and 45 years. There are deaths by starvation every year, due to poor harvests.

The Congregation of Franciscan Sisters from Salzkotten has been active in the Madisi Parish in Malawi since 1984, where it voluntarily runs the St. Francis Catholic Primary School and the St. Francis Catholic Kindergarten with a total of around 1,580 orphan children.

Long periods of drought and little rainfall have an extreme influence on the harvests. Based on the hunger crisis, President Peter Mutharika already declared a national state of emergency back in April 2016 and called for international aid. Mothers and their children who cannot be fed sufficiently are hit the hardest by the drought. Insufficient nourishment in early childhood restricts physical and mental development; more than 40 percent of the children in Malawi are affected.

Sister Maria Hildegarde explained the catastrophic situation: “If we did not take in these children and care for them in our attached hospital they would simply die in the village, because their parents are not able to care for them or in the worst case are already dead.”

Polluted water increases the risk of infection and diarrhoea, against which the malnourished children are particularly weak. Rising inflation further worsens the poor living standards and there is also an acute shortage of electrical supply. This is rationed during the day, so that the waterworks are no longer able to pump the water far enough. The population of Madisi has recently suffered most heavily under the water shortage, as the water tanks ran dry.

Sister Maria Arnoldis relayed her experiences in Madisi: “It is absolutely inconceivable, that there is often no water for days. The sisters try to precook for several days, so there are sufficient meals for the children. Having said this, it does not always work.”

As the situation is constantly worsening, the priest Father Maximilian Khisi supported an analysis of the surrounding wells. The result was shocking: The majority of children have no access to drinking water. The existing wells only supply dirty and contaminated water.

In view of this unbearable situation, the sisters decided to become active themselves. They plan to build new wells, professionally carried out under consideration of the prevailing local conditions and future-safe. The whole project covers the building of a total of 20 wells in the surrounding villages.

Donations made are fed effectively into this project thanks to the Lions Club of Büren-Salzkotten, which supports many social projects and has been working together with the sisters already for some time. Many other companies from the region have also supported the project by means of donations. One company that particularly stands out is STÜWA Konrad Stükerjürgen GmbH. This owner-managed company with its headquarters in Rietberg-Varensell is a leading producer of high-quality well building materials, drilling tools and geothermal products. STÜWA not only makes donations, but also manages the work on location.

Sustainability and durability are the top priorities of this well building project in Malawi. This is why particular attention is being paid to the durability of the building material and the use of renewable energies like a solar power pump, ensuring operation independent of the local power supply. Information and training are planned to increase local awareness and understanding.



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