Pop diva Madonna
has decided to extend her charity work in Malawi to the
country's water supply when she visits next month to set up
an orphan care center in the southern African country,
local officials said.
running high in Malawi, an impoverished country
dependent on tobacco exports, as Madonna prepares to join a
flood of stars searching for a good cause on the
world's poorest continent.
The advance party
preparing her first visit to Africa was shocked to see
young girls in the capital of Lilongwe walking long
distances with buckets of water balanced on their
"The team was
appalled at what they saw and how women and children
walk long distances to fetch water," said Adrina Michiela,
principal secretary in Malawi's Ministry of Women and
immediately pledged to support any government initiatives
to improve access to water points," Michiela told Reuters.
No date has been
announced for the visit, during which Madonna has said
she will set up the Raising Malawi center to feed and
educate about 1,000 orphans, many of them left by
parents killed by AIDS, a major scourge in the region.
announced in an interview with Time magazine last
month, Madonna said she was raising $3 million to fund
programs mostly to help orphans in Malawi.
Malawi has a
population of 13 million, an estimated 1 million of them
children who have lost at least one parent. (Reuters)