By Bob Wubbena, Jim McGill and Greg Bucove
The first piped rural water systems in Livingstonia Malawi was constructed 100 years ago by Dr Law. In 2006, a group of Rotary Clubs working with Central Church of Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) and village leadership completely rebuilt and expanded the system.  The totally gravity flow water system now serves 10 villages and the commercial center of the Livingstonia Plateau, which includes the rural University of Livingstonia and  a hospital. The system provides water to about 20,000 people.
The water supply is a "high elevation two spring supply" that flows at low flow with about 20 litres per second.  The watershed is protected by village rules and the entire area and system is under the over site of the Central Church of Africa Presbyterian.  The two springs were redeveloped with two screened intakes that flow into a five chamber concrete settling basin--the only treatment of the water.  Future plans call for some disinfection, however the water is of very good quality.  The water flows from the Settling Chamber about two miles down through a valley and back up to the Plateau to several storage tanks.  One of the ten villages is served off of this transmission line.  The other nine villages and the Plateau are served from the terminal storage tanks on the Plateau.
A total of 35 miles of pipelines serve the system of transmission, distribution and some building service lines (on the Plateau to the University buildings and housing).  The villages are served by strategically and conveniently located kiosks that are managed by the Water Committee.  All service lines and kiosks are metered and all uses are designed to be paid for to assist with maintenance and operation by the Water Committee. The staff manning the kiosks receive a portion of the delivered water for their pay to man the scheduled sale of water and to distribute a portion of the water to the elderly and the disabled/orphans.
The system has been fully functional since 2013.  The Rotary Foundation and a group of Rotary Clubs provided about $800,000 in cash and in project engineering and over site of a broader WASH and Education program.  The CCAP and the villagers themselves dug most of the 35 miles of pipeline trenches and constructed the elevated and ground level concrete tanks.. Rotary funded the services of a Tanzania Engineer to oversee most of the project  field design and construction.  Jim McGill from the CCAP Development Department oversaw the organizational management and Community Development work. Bob Wubbena, from the Olympia WA Rotary Club provided engineering, fund raising, and project management guidance.  Five Rotary Districts and 50 Rotary Clubs helped raise funds for this $800,000 seven year project.
Currently the Olympia Rotary Club is financing the salary of a CCAP System Manager to create a stronger focus and support on improving the system operation and establishing strong rules on expansion and financing the system operation.  The system is operating as designed.
The Water Committees need to upgrade their management and system financing to fully self finance the operation and management.
This project is now part of the Northern Malawi Community Transformation Center (CTC) recently organized under the leadership of Mabvuto Lupwayi of the CCAP.  The Gravity Flow System at Livingstonia is the CTC;s demonstration site for gravity flow system, along with their Smart Center at Muzuzu, and the training programs at Ekwendeni.
This CTC is designed to train Malawian technicians in WASH, ENERGY and AGRICULTURAL Security. The CTC is part of the Transform International Network of CTC in  countries around the world sharing and supporting each other.  The CCAP will be working with other gravity flow systems in Northern Malawi that are seeking assistance to  upgrade and expand their service area.