A new initiative for carrying water has been introduced in Thyolo District with the aim of averting various ailments Malawian women suffer while using their heads to achieve the same.
The method allows women to carry more volumes of water in one go than the conventional one (on the head).
This alternative way overcomes cultural biases because men also use it to carry water. Customarily, men do not carry buckets of water on their heads.
The new water carrier, known as Jigye in Korean, is being piloted by Crops of Love Ministries, a religious body that operates a clinic at Makande Prison in the district.
Several communities around Makande have started using Jigye which is distributed for free (one per household) and traditional leaders have since requested the innovators to further stretch the distribution.
Yongjin Kim, international director for the ministries said they devised the initiative after noting that the majority of inpatients at their clinic were women suffering from a combination of muscle-pain, neck-pain, backache, nerve pains and rheumatoid arthritis borne from carrying heavy loads of water or firewood on their heads.
“The pain medication and other alternatives means of pain relief are not long-term solutions so we thought of a long term solution that would alleviate the problems at the source, hence the provision of the water carriers.
“We believe this water delivery method is both safer and efficient than carrying water on the head,” explained Kim when he launched Jigye at Goliati Primary School on Sunday.
Jigye is placed at one’s back (like backpack) and carries two water buckets or containers at once. It is produced by inmates of Makande Prison as part of their social service and rehabilitation programme.
It is inexpensively assembled, using dried water hyacinth strands (namasupuni) bought from local citizens at Liwonde Township. n