Malawi is a small, densely populated country in Southeastern Africa, bordered by Tanzania to the north, Zambia to the west, and Mozambique to the east and south. The majority of the country's 15 million residents live in rural areas, while the urban population is concentrated in Lilongwe and Blantyre, the two largest cities.
About 50% of Malawians live below the national poverty line and according to the most recent Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) Report by UNICEF and WHO, 95% of people in urban areas and 83% in rural areas have access to safe water. But these statistics are considerably inflated: Water For People–Malawi’s current understanding of the water situation in the 21 low-income areas of peri-urban Blantyre is that only 38% of people have access to water that meets government standards, and in the rural district of Chikhwawa only 42% have access to safe drinking water. Access to sanitation is much lower, with 22% of urban and 8% of rural dwellers using improved sanitation facilities.
Water For People has been working in Malawi since 2000. In 2006, it changed its strategy from small projects in widespread areas to concentrated efforts in three regions: peri-urban Blantyre and the rural districts of Chikhwawa and Rumphi. Water For People - Malawi has become a leader in the water and sanitation sector in the country, promoting innovative and sustainable approaches to water and sanitation services.