From Tears to Cheers

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Families in rural communities that don’t have a well or a water pump installed depend on rivers, puddles, or any other open water sources prone to waterborne diseases. Young girls typically hold the responsibility of gathering and carrying heavy water containers several times a day.

Recently in the village of Chickwangwala, Malawi, just days before the DO team was to arrive to install a LifePump,™ a young girl had been attacked and killed by a crocodile when she went to gather water at a nearby river.

“It’s staggering to think that in today’s world, tragic stories like this often occur,” said CEO and Co-Founder, Dr. Greg Bixler. “Yet, this is the reality for millions of people. I think about my three kids: four, eight, and eleven, and I wouldn’t want to send them anywhere near a crocodile-infested river. Yet girls as young as age six are risking their lives going there to collect water and bring it back to their families. So, you can imagine how much joy was in this community when they were able to get water from the LifePump safely.”

This story’s happy ending had its beginnings just over a year ago when CAS (Chemical Abstract Society) in Columbus, Ohio, invited Design Outreach to present to their employees about DO’s mission, purpose, and outreach. Employees were deeply moved and raised enough funds to install two LifePumps – one of which went to Chickwangwala.

The LifePump was installed the day after the funeral for the young girl. While the community mourned her loss, they rejoiced the safety that the LifePump was bringing for the other children.

The DO team witnessed the first turns of the LifePump handles and the joyous sounds the community made as they brought their cups to take their first drink of clean, cool water.

We’re so very grateful for partners like CAS who make it possible to provide water to communities like Chickwangwala and provide them with hope for a better future.


Since December, the LifePump has been utilized daily with an average use of 360 gallons a day. That is equivalent to almost 22,000 gallons of clean water to the people of Chickwangwala so far! The LifePumpLink, installed with the LifePump, provides up-to-date data on use and impact.

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