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Monday, 17 July 2017 12:10

Phalombe villagers reaping from Jatropha

Written by  Grecium Gama

Phalombe, July 17, 2017: People of Mtoliwa Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Jenala in Phalombe are making easy money through sales of soap made from Jatrofa Plants, an initiative that was facilitated by United Purpose (UP).

The organization which is implementing a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Project in the district introduced soap making from the shrub as a way of providing free soap for hand washing in areas where buying soap proved to be a problem due to poverty.

According to one of the community members of Mtoliwa Village where UP introduced Jatrofa farming and usage of its seeds in soap making, Malizani Manyowa, the community decided that apart from supplying free soap for village sanitation, they could also make money by selling the soap to other villages within the district.

Addressing government officers from Phalombe District Council who went to appreciate the village’s efforts, Manyowa said the group was making piles of money from the soap which does not cost them a lot to produce.

“Our Partner (UP) trained us on how to grow the trees and make soap from them so that we could have soap all the time for domestic usage such as washing hands in order to stop Cholera and Diarrhoea, but out of it, we have made a business which among other things is assisting us to support our families,” explained Manyowa.

He added that the idea was influenced by frequent Cholera outbreaks that the village experienced; such as in 2016 when over 40 people from the village suffered from the disease.

Concurring with Manyowa, Phalombe District Heath Officer (DHO), Ketwin Kondowe, who was part of the district team said the District Health Office has noted that this year, there has been no Cholera case from that area, attributing the success to the use of Jatrofa soap.

Commenting on the importance of his Villagers’ initiative, Group Village Headman (GVH) Mtoliwa called on government to hasten completion of Chitekesa Rural Growth Centre which he said would provide a good market for the product.

“Selling of the soap has proven to be a lucrative business here in the village, but we feel that if we had a market like the one that we expect the rural growth centre to provide us with, then we can make twice as much money thereby economically empowering our communities,” said GVH Mtoliwa.

On his part, WASH Project Expert for United Purpose, Masauko Thuzi, asked Phalombe District Council to support the community, saying it had displayed its ability to develop through its own creativity.

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