Skip to contents

The goal of boreholefuncmwi is to provide access to data which were collected in the Karonga district (North of Malawi) and contains answers from a 20-minute questionnaire about boreholes. The questionnaire was installed on koboToolbox to collect borehole functionality data from 300 respondents aged 18 and above.


You can install the development version of boreholefuncmwi from GitHub with:

# install.packages("devtools")
## Run the following code in console if you don't have the packages
## install.packages(c("dplyr", "knitr", "readr", "stringr", "gt", "kableExtra"))

Alternatively, you can download the individual datasets as a CSV or XLSX file from the table below.

dataset CSV XLSX
boreholefuncmwi Download CSV Download XLSX



The dataset boreholefuncmwi contains data about borehole’s management in the North of Malawi. Questions included in the questionnaire are for example about the borehole maintenance contributions from the community, the availability of borehole spare parts, tariff collection frequency and presence of a service provider. It has 108 observations and 17 variables.

boreholefuncmwi |> 
  head(3) |> 
  gt::gt() |>
id date role committee_members last_meeting_participants annual_budget village number_households tariff_costs_consider tariff_frequency tariff_amount total_money tariff_hh_number distance_materials service_provider preventive_maintenance functional_status
1 2023-05-03 Area Mechanic NA NA 1000001 Mulyabweka 39 No tarrif system set None 0 0 0 >20 km away 0 0 0
2 2023-05-07 Community member NA NA 50000 Mlirasambo 48 No tarrif system set None 0 0 0 >20 km away 0 0 0
3 2023-05-08 Community member NA NA 50000 James 59 No tarrif system set None 0 4000 0 >20 km away 1 0 0

For an overview of the variable names, see the following table.

variable_name variable_type description
id integer Identification number of the observation
date date Date the survey was filled out
role categorical Main role of the respondent. Options include ‘Area Mechanic’, ‘Chief/Village Headman’, ‘Community member’, ‘Councilor’, ‘Head teacher/Teacher’, ‘HSA/Health officer’, ‘Hand pump borehole committee chair’, ‘Hand pump borehole committee member’, ‘Hand pump borehole owner’, ‘Water Seller’, and ‘Water User Association/Water Board member’
committee_members integer How many people are on the Hand pump borehole Committee as of 2023?
last_meeting_participants integer How many community members attended the last meeting? (Label 99 for unknown number of attendants)
annual_budget integer How much money in Malawi Kwacha do you need to manage this borehole without financial problems annually?
village categorical Name of the village
number_households integer How many households use this hand pump borehole?
tariff_costs_consider categorical What costs were considered when setting the tariff or user fee? Options including Maintenance costs, Operation costs - e.g. salary of the water seller, Total replacement cost for the system, Set by local government, and Bill payments.
tariff_frequency categorical How often is the tariff/user fee collected? Including per month, per 2 months, per quarter, per year and when required for repairs.
tariff_amount integer How much is the tariff/user fee in Kwacha?
total_money integer How much money in Malawi Kwacha do you source to support operations and maintenance annually?
tariff_hh_number integer How many households in the community paid a water fee the last time it was collected?
distance_materials categorical How far away are/were the materials you use for hand pump borehole repairs? Options include ‘>20km’, ‘0-20km’, ‘within community’, and ‘don’t know’.
service_provider categorical Is there a service provider or someone responsible for operating and/or maintaining this hand pump borehole or water system? Yes for 1 and No for 0.
preventive_maintenance categorical Do you conduct preventive maintenance? Yes for 1 and No for 0.
functional_status categorical Functional status of the borehole. Functional for 1, Not functional for 0 (including ‘Partially functional but in need of repair’, ‘Not functional’)


It can be interesting to analyse the numbers of households who draw water from a borehole in each village. Here is a plot showing the distribution of boreholes’ use across villages.

borehole_user <- boreholefuncmwi %>%
  group_by(village) %>%
  summarise(number_households = sum(number_households, na.rm = TRUE))

ggplot(borehole_user) +
    x = number_households,
    y = reorder(village, number_households)
  fill = "lightgreen",  # Change the color here to light green
  width = 0.8
  ) +
    x = number_households,
    y = reorder(village, number_households),
    label = round(number_households)
  hjust = -0.5,
  size = 8 / .pt
  ) +
    title = "Number of households using a borehole",
    caption = "Boreholes distribution according to villages"
  ) +
  scale_x_continuous(expand = expansion(c(0, 0.1))) +
    grid = FALSE,
    axis = "y",
    axis_title = FALSE,
    axis_text = "y"

Capstone Project

This dataset is shared as part of a capstone project in Data Science for openwashdata. For more information about the project and to explore further insights, please visit the project page at


Data are available as CC-BY.


Please cite this package using:

#> To cite package 'boreholefuncmwi' in publications use:
#>   Yesaya M, Preisig J, Kayira H, Zhong M (2024). "boreholefuncmwi:
#>   Analysis of boreholes' functionality in Northern Malawi."
#>   doi:10.5281/zenodo.12635354
#>   <>,
#>   <>.
#> A BibTeX entry for LaTeX users is
#>   @Misc{yesaya_etall:2024,
#>     title = {boreholefuncmwi: Analysis of boreholes' functionality in Northern Malawi},
#>     author = {Mabvuto Yesaya and Juliette Preisig and Hastings Kayira and Mian Zhong},
#>     year = {2024},
#>     doi = {10.5281/zenodo.12635354},
#>     url = {},
#>     abstract = {The data is obtained from a survey conducted in Wasambo in Karonga district (Northen Malawi). This data is about boreholes and handpumps that people mostly rely on for drinking water, secondary to wells and rivers. The data were collected in June 2023.},
#>     keywords = {borehole,malawi,opendata,openwashdata,r,survey-data},
#>     version = {0.0.1},
#>   }