Interview with Alberto

Alberto Sidio

Who is Alberto?
I am Alberto Sidio, now a retired pensioner. I live in Rieti near Rome with my extended family of 20. I have been in the banking world for over 40 years and I ended up as a bank manager.

Why are you here in Malawi, Balaka in particular?
A voluntary association operating in Africa in 2003 recruited me. I accepted to take on this very different job – a borehole driller after undergoing 8 months apprenticeship.

We have seen you drilling a borehole in AEI campus. Which association (s) is/are involved?
OLTRE CONFINE ONLUS (Rome), which consists six members who raise funds amongst friends and in their community of Rieti.

How many boreholes will you drill?
I have drilled several boreholes in and around Balaka (Kapandatsitsi, Toleza, Mbera, Andiamo Campus amongst others). I have completed a second borehole in Andiamo Campus and I hope to have the resources and energy to drill one or two more before I return.

This is not your first time in Balaka. What has changed ever since you left for Italy?
Indeed this is my fourth visit. Realistically speaking, not much has changed but seeing women and children drawing water from a borehole and not from a river is an enormous advance.

The borehole you are drilling will benefit students. What are your feelings seeing students waiting for the water eagerly?
The students wait, smiling and curious. I watch them brushing teeth, washing hands and simply drinking from the first borehole. This borehole will amplify the entire campus and the benefit it will bring to all, satisfies me immensely.

What message do you have for some Italians who would like to come to Balaka?
When one arrives in Balaka, a place so different to ours, eager to work and meet new people and one leaves heavy-heartedly always longing to return.

Any last words?
MADZI NDI MOYO- as you say in Chichewa- DO NOT WASTE IT!

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