Posted by: Wasrag | November 12, 2013

Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation – SMART Centre Program Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary in Malawi with Rotary Club Support


Manual drilling in Malawi (2013). Photographer Jason McGill.

The Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation, SMART Centre Program, opened in June 2012 to promote works on ‘self supply’ for low-cost water and sanitation options.  Self-supply is being promoted through training local artisans in affordable technologies and business skills as well as linking them and their customers to micro-financing institutions.  The University works in collaboration with the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, Synod of Livingstonia, which has an implementing partner role at the SMART Centre with both the Malawi Government and other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) focusing on sustainable development issues.  The SMART Centre is currently prompting promoting hand percussion drilling using the SHIPO method, the fabrication of local pumps including the Rope pumps, simple ceramic Tulip water filters for household and school water treatment use, rainwater harvesting, and much more.  To learn more about the SMART Centre visit .

The Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation oversees African water and sanitation research, which is networking regional water and sanitation work and also training of professionals through Mzuzu University.  In 2009, the Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation was established within the Faculty of Environmental Sciences.  The primary objective of the Centre is to improve the effectiveness of sanitation, hygiene practices, and water supply interventions serving Malawi and the surrounding countries.  The Centre participates in applied research, water quality analysis, training, consultancies, outreach programs, and the practical application of research findings.  More importantly, the Centre through the Department of Water Resources Management is offering a degree programme in Water and Sanitation, which is an important link to the dissemination and documentation of research findings. While the Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation can provide the scientific requirements per design of solutions and interventions, prompting of technologies on the ground is covered by the SMART Centre.


Working towards improved sanitation in a Mzuzu high density neighborhoods. New composting toilet is seen in the background (2013). Photographer Paula Strassle.

The Mzuzu SMART Centre is currently generously supported by Rotary clubs around the world, including Rotary Apeldoorn ‘t Loo (Netherlands), Rotary Chestfield (United Kingdom), Rotary De Rottemeren (Netherlands), Rotary NL (Netherlands), Rotary Club of San Pedro (USA), Rotary Club of Marbella (Spain), and Rotary Club Montrose and District (Australia).

The Manger of the SMART Centre, Dr. Rochelle Holm, started her Rotary experience with a Rotary Youth Leadership Award more than 10 years ago.  In addition to the SMART Centre work, early in 2013 she participated on a Rotary PPP Team, serving with a small, multi-disciplinary team of committed, experienced professionals to address water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH) issues in the northern region of Tanzania, using sustainable practices.  Currently, the Mzuzu SMART Centre is working with WASRAG to develop a local Regional Team to prioritize a WASRAG approved project list.

For more information on the Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation, SMART Centre Program, or to involve your club alongside other clubs around the world, please contact Dr. Rochelle Holm.


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