By Susan Davis, Executive Director
The CCAP SMART Centre Malawi in Mzuzu demonstrates low-cost technologies, including water filters, handwashing set ups, latrine slabs and pits, water pumps (several varieties of rope pump), and groundwater recharge for individuals, businesses, and development organizations. They even have a demonstration garden showing irrigation techniques. They have 11 staff, some part-time, volunteers, and interns from nearby Mzuzu University. They are likely going to support the WASHFIT process by providing advice on WASH technologies and products for the hospitals and health centers.
Currently they have 47 projects, such as providing oversight for well drilling projects. Three people are going to Zambia SMART Centre to provide training on drilling. They have trained people to manufacture and sell rope pumps and slabs. They want to strengthen the business acumen for these entrepreneurs.
They need funding / staff to support both an entrepreneur training and ongoing mentorship. Ideally the staff person would have experience running a small business in Malawi. For more information contact Reinier Veldman at reinierja.veldman at gmail dot com
Last year, I visited a similar center, called the Appropriate Technology Center, outside Kampala, Uganda. Beyond the demonstrations of technologies like worm composting and toilet accessories for the disabled, they also provide technical advice, training, and promotion of low-cost technologies.
There are similar set-ups in other countries, and a new organization Transform International plans to strengthen and network them. I like the idea of having a permanent technical WASH resource in country that is not project-based.