25 September 2017
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Thursday, 07 September 2017 06:58

Blantyre moving to end open defecation

Written by  Brian Wasili

Blantyre, September 6, 2017: Blantyre District Council through the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Project is making headway in empowering communities so that they own and understand the importance of having sanitary facilities such as toilets and put them to proper use. 

Co – coordinator for the WASH Project at the Blantyre District Health Office (DHO), Mustapha Maulidi said this in an interview with Mana Wednesday in reaction to a report by Hygiene Village Project shared during a WASH stakeholders meeting in Blantyre.

“I am impressed with good progress on sanitation and hygiene as highlighted in the report by Hygiene Village Project which shows that almost every household in Traditional Authority (TA) Lundu and Makata has proper sanitary facilities of a toilet with a top cover and proper hand washing facility,” he explained.

Maulidi said that the provision of such facilities at household level promotes hygiene in a community.

He hailed the Hygiene Village Project for implementing WASH activities in the district which he said government alone cannot manage.

Maulidi added that a task force from the district office is expected from to start visiting the areas of TA Lundu and Makata from Thursday where the Hygiene Village Project is implementing WASH activities to assess how they are progressing before a national team follows.

Project Officer for Hygiene Village Project responsible for Blantyre and Mangochi, Earnest Maganga said that communities could afford to make a change in their communities.

“If Malawi plans to be a nation free from open defecation, the communities have to be empowered by being given the opportunity of bringing change within their communities by themselves,” he explained.

A total of 103 and 46 villages from TA Lundu and Makata respectively are expected to be verified by the team from the council.

After the monitoring exercise, a district is given an Open Defecation Free (ODF) status certificate by the national team on condition that every household in the community has a standard and functional toilet with a top hole cover, hand washing facility nearby and has no faeces around the community.

The United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) and Hygiene Village Project are the organisations implementing WASH activities in Blantyre District.

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