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World Vision International-Malawi declares 10 villages open defecation free

As the Water and Sanitation Health (WASH) project being carried out by World Vision International-Malawi (WVI) under the Mutchenda Greenfield, in Traditional Authority Chulu, is underway, ten villages so far have been applauded for setting an example in stopping open defecation.

The villages have attained the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status after being outstanding amongst villages in meeting all the needed sanitation and hygiene standards in all their households. The standards include: proper places of waste disposal, locally well-constructed toilets with a hand washing facilities and proper homes with nice kitchens.

According to WVI, the aim of the award is to encourage the villagers to remain healthy, through championing sanitation and health standards and also by refraining from open defecation and thereby reducing cases of water borne diseases.

The awardees are: Zyalambe, Kangoma, Chioza, Kapatuka, Mpazi, Kalindawalo, Kasiyagoli, Chafwamba, Nyambo and Empopomeni. They all received gift items which included hand washing facilities and certificates of recognition.

Speaking to the Malawin News Agency (Mana) after the open day – celebrated under the theme ‘Nyumba za ukhondo, Moyo Wabwino’ – held at Nyambo village in T/A Chulu, the Mutchenda Greenfield Team Leader, Mike Matsimbe, applauded the villages for having attained the ODF status and called others to emulate them.

‘It was hard at the beginning for the people to accept our intervention and urging them to refrain from open defecation during the time when we were rolling out this programme in 2013, though now they are responding nicely as evidenced through the awards’.

‘Though the number of villages which have so far attained the ODF status is not impressive, as regards the huge number of villages still suffering the pinch of unhygienic conditions in their homes, we still hope that more would join the race’, Matsimbe said.

Matsimbe also hinted that partnership with the Ministry of Health through the district hospital and other stakeholders, under the District Coordinating Team, are contributing to the goal of making all of T/A Chulu ODF by 2015.

Matsimbe also said, ‘Children are the worst affected when hygiene measures are missing in households. Unhygienic homes makes children sick, causing them to be absent from classes, now and then, due to persistence sicknesses, thereby affecting education standards. When we make our homes hygienic, everybody would remain healthier, always, thereby empowering our children academically’.

The District Commissioner, Siphiwe Mauwa, urged chiefs to establish bylaws which would help in championing sanitation and health amongst their subjects.

‘If diseases are out of your house, you have ample time in achieving other developmental programmes rather attending to the sicknesses which could have rocked your house due to unhygienic homes. I hereby call the chiefs to do what they can to make bylaws which would help in this campaign of making the whole T/A ODF by 2015. Whosoever would not corporate, let him be brought before the chiefs and answer accordingly’, said Mauwa.

WVI is implementing the three-year K300 million, United States of America funded Water and Sanitation Health (WASH) project which started in 2013 and will be closed out in 2015. The project is expected to benefit a total population of over 21,000 people in the area of T/A Chulu.

Since 2013, 30 boreholes have been drilled, and 60 other boreholes are expected to be drilled, under the project so that people have access to safe and potable drinking water. Furthermore, communities with guidance of Area Development Committees are now desisting from open defecation as they have their own toilets with hand washing facilities.

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