From WILL - News Local/State -

Grant to Expand Urbana’s Relationship with African City

Urbana has received additional funding to improve the quality of life in its Sister City of Zomba, Malawi.

The grant from Sister Cities International will provide up to $100-thousand to upgrade the African city’s solid waste disposal system.  Urbana has already had ties with Zomba since 2009, recently completing $115-thousand dollars in work.

That includes water and sanitation projects in schools, and laundry and shower facilities for families of patients at Zomba Central Hospital.

Urbana Alderman Dennis Roberts says the new grant involves a new collaborator -  the Haizu District in China.

"This is a prototype - kind of test experience set up by Sister Cities International to find out if they can bring a Chinese city and African City together, working American city," he said.  "(It's) to solve a problem related to health, and sustainability, and public health in Africa."

Roberts says Zomba formerly had one source of water, a single faucet, requiring residents to haul water for bathing, washing clothes, and drinking.

Urbana is only one of three U.S. Cities to receive the new grant.  The others are Ashville-Raleigh, North Carolina, and Denver.