17 November 2017
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Friday, 27 October 2017 11:09

Two Blantyre Chiefs emerge first in ODF

Written by  Brian Wasili
Amosi Mvula of Nankhombe Village, GVHLunguzi, TA Lundu - Pic Brian Wasili Amosi Mvula of Nankhombe Village, GVHLunguzi, TA Lundu - Pic Brian Wasili

Blantyre, October 27, 2017: Two Traditional Authorities (T/As) of Makata and Lundu in Blantyre have met minimum standards required by National Open Defecation Free Task Force (NOTF)   for the two areas to be declared open defecation free (ODF) zones, Malawi News Agency has established.

NOTF verification survey report presented to Blantyre District Coordinating Team (DCT) for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) indicates that the two T/As have attained the ODF status.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA), Chairperson for NOTF, Holystone Kafanikhale, on Thursday confirmed that according to their findings, communities of the two traditional authorities have stopped using the bush as a toilet.

“Our random survey findings have indicated that 99 percent and 98 percent households in T/As of Makata and Lundu respectively have usable latrines and no excreta is found around their communities,” he said.

Kafanikhale pointed out that during the level-one survey, his team was also looking at availability of roof, privacy, free from collapse, cleanliness around the latrines and the general hygiene and sanitation outlook of the communities, among other factors.

He added that level one which communities in the two areas hit a 95 percent record margin of the total households in a traditional authority is permitted to have a latrine which is different from level two.

In level two, every household must have their own latrine complete with hand-washing facilities.
Kafanikhale, therefore, commended Hygiene Village Project for complementing government in implementing WASH Programme in the areas of the two traditional leaders.

In his remarks, representative of Chief Lundu, George Chirwa, observed that lives of the community in the two areas have transformed following the intervention of Community Led Total Sanitation initiative.

“Households in our areas now have appreciated the importance of constructing latrines,” said Chirwa.

Chirwa, therefore, expressed optimism that communities in the two areas would take sanitation as a habit so that contagious diseases such as cholera are eradicated since human waste would be disposed in the latrines.

In an interview with Mana, Project Officer for Hygiene Village Project responsible for Blantyre and Mangochi, Ernest Maganga, expressed satisfaction with the results, saying it wasn’t easy to attain such a feat.

“We are happy for the results and we hope that we will do even better than now for level two if given an opportunity,” said Maganga.

According to NOTF, the development translates to 67 T/As, including Makata and Lundu, having been declared ODF level one out of the 263 traditional authorities in the country.

In Malawi, it is only Balaka District Council that was declared ODF whereby all the traditional authorities in the district have latrines.

The WASH activities are funded by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) as the main donor organisation through non – governmental organisations in the country.

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