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Balaka poised to end open defecation

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Balaka District is on the road to combating open defecation after 88 villages in Traditional Authority Sawali have committed to the cause.

The development comes after people in Sawali’s 88 villages and 11 group village headmen constructed basic latrines and declared their area open defecation free zones (ODF).

T/A Sawali said all her subjects have responded to her call to end cholera and eye infections through proper hygiene.

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“The reason behind the success story is that we, traditional leaders, led the campaign that every household should have a pit latrine and whoever disobeys us is heavily fined,” Sawali said.

She said this was also made possible through the community-led total sanitation approach introduced by Training Support for Partners (TSP). The campaign taught the community members dangers associated with open defecation.

Akuzike Banda, Balaka Wash coordinator, said the district coordinating team visited Sawali’s area and certified it ODF because every household has a toilet.

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“Following each and every household’s decision to have a pit latrine, people are assured of safe drinking water. This has made the area free from water-borne diseases and eye infections,” Banda said.

Vincent Kafakoma, TSP community facilitator, said rampant outbreaks of cholera prompted TSP to initiate a hygiene and sanitation campaign in Sawali.

He said Sawali and Chanthunya areas have managed to end open defecation and they were for Plan Malawi and ODF task force for official verification.

Global Sanitation Fund released US$330, 000, through Plan Malawi, to TSP to implement community-led total sanitation approach in Balaka which targeted 80,125 households in 793 villages, of which 64, 707 households have managed to construct pit latrines.

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