Murunda, North Malawi


Changing a project at a difficult time

The planning was completed and fundraising was well under way when IPA was informed about a project of the KfW Development Bank in the same location. We had to react quickly.


The attitude of the students at Wohlen High School showed clearly that this project was very important to them. The main event during their fundraising campaign was a volleyball night. Although they had probably underestimated the necessary efforts, the event was a real success. In their commitment to the project, they were supported by a group of youngsters who had taken part in the Soazza environmental project in 2019. Together they had made big plans, the refurbishment and expansion of the medical centre of Kaweche in Malawi. The budget of over CHF 100,000 was a challenge which they readily accepted. They had thought of everything, structural measures, fixtures and fittings, equipment, a refrigerator powered by solar enery and further education courses. More than half the money was ready to be invested when we received an email from our local partner in Malawi. "KfW is working on a big project in Kaweche", he wrote, "work has already begun". The IPA office in Zurich had to react very quickly. Further enquiries were sent to Malawi and we tried to contact KfW. They told us that there had been a preliminary as well as an overall study. The project had been planned as part of an even bigger programme and all the local people concerned had known it. However IPA had not been informed, neither by the Minister of Health for the region nor by the locals, not to mention the staff of Kaweche Health Centre. They probably all thought it was better to have two projects than none because they had been let down in the past.

Happy beneficiaries


There was nothing we could do, and the proposal of KfW to suspend the IPA project for the time being and later to add it to their own (with a budget of a million Euros) was not convincing. The only possible decision was therefore to find another project. After all we had seen similar medical stations during previous visits. Now we had to explain the new, unfortunate situation to the class in Wohlen and the institutional donors. Luckily they were all very flexible and agreed to support an other medical centre. The Jalawe Health Centre in Murunda subsequently inherited the project. Finally the station which cares for 6,500 people has running water, medical equipment, adequate facilities, solar energy and even a house with two flats for members of staff. The results were immediately visible. The Minister of Health for the region sent more nursing staff so that the patient care improved considerably. "I am very pleased with your help", he said, "some of the equipment cannot even be found in the district hospital". The Nyasa Times reported about a small ceremony and the young Swiss can look forward to an interesting final presentation. IPA will soon pay a visit to the district hospital.

More nursing personnel thanks to a staff house