The Presidential Taskforce on Covid and Cholera Thursday announced that schools in Blantyre and Lilongwe will be opened next Tuesday.
Briefing reporters in Lilongwe, co-chairperson for the taskforce Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said the authorities are satisfied with preventive measures being put in place to ensure that the disease does not spread through the schools.
The taskforce has since directed all public and private schools, and other education institutions, to enforce safe water and sanitation practices using standard operating procedures (SOPs) for schools and all education institutions already made available by the Ministry of Education.
Further, the taskforce has directed higher education institutions to ensure that food vendors and suppliers in their institutions are oriented and adhere to SOPs.
“The taskforce is directing all district and city councils to ban, with immediate effect, vending of precooked foods along streets, in local markets and bus depots, within school premises, and such like places, using provisions in their by-laws.
“Close, with immediate effect, all marketing, transport and travel, sporting, religious and entertainment facilities, including those belonging to local councils, that do not have on-site safe water, functional toilets, organised and hygienic refuse disposal facilities, until the deficiencies are corrected,” Kandodo Chiponda said.
Water and Sanitation Minister Abida Mia said the authorities had budgeted for $20 million towards the cholera fight and that, so far, they have raised $14.3 million.
In her remarks, Education Minister Agness NyaLonje urged parents to take care of children in the homes.
NyaLonje said Malawi has about five million learners in primary schools, of which only 38,000 are in boarding schools.
She said the development means that most learners come from home, hence the need for parents and guardians in homes to be extra careful in preventing cholera.
Government spokesperson Gospel Kazako said although government will open the schools in Blantyre and Lilongwe on Tuesday, it may be forced to close them if the sanitation situation deteriorates again.