Africa’s oldest floating ship, the 1899-built Chauncy Maples, is continuing to undergo conversion into a mobile medical clinic at the Monkey Bay shipyard on Lake Malawi. The project, sponsored by Malawi’s Ministry of Health, The Chauncy Maples Malawi Trust and insurance service company Thomas Miller, has raised more than €1 million to date, half the amount needed for the ship’s total renovation.
Late last year the Manuel Antonio da Mota Foundation, the charitable arm of the Portuguese international civil engineering company Mota-Engil, joined the partnership by agreeing to finance €2 million of the running costs of the vessel over the next ten years. Mark Holford, Thomas Miller Fundraising Director of the Trust, said: “The Mota Foundation support answers the primary concern of donors, namely how the operation of the ship will be funded once the renovation is complete. This pledge will enable us to raise enough money to run the ship as a clinic for at least 20 years. The Trust is currently raising an additional €1 million to buy parts and equipment for the vessel’s renovation, after which it will be used to provide medical services around Lake Malawi.