The European Union’s (EU) Head of Cooperation in Malawi, Lluis Navarro, has reaffirmed the EU’s commitment in promoting health and proper hygiene among Malawians.
Navarro made the pledge in Mzuzu on Friday when he presided over the official phasing out of the Peri-Urban Sanitation and Hygiene (Push) project.
He said through construction of the 1.7 million Euros Msiro Waste Management Facility and improved latrines and urinals, the EU is satisfied with progress registered in reducing sanitation-related health hazards among Malawians, especially school children.
“Although strides have been made, the health risks in our communities remain high. One of the most challenging targets
of Sustainable Development Goals is to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse by 2030,” Navarro said.
He challenged the residents to monetise various interventions and deal with hazardous waste in a more responsible way.
“We aim at grooming waste entrepreneurs. The new waste management facility, for instance, will open business opportunities and generate sources of income using modern technologies. Waste is money,” he said.
Commenting on water issues, the EU head of cooperation said by the end of 2017, the union intends to reach out to 500,000 Malawians with safe drinking water adding to the one million who have been targeted in the last five years.
“EU interventions on water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management add up to almost 45 million Euros since 2006, making the EU a key donor in the sector for Malawi. With commitment from our various implementing partners, it is pleasing to note some improvements,” he said.
Plan Malawi Country Director, the EU’s implementing partner in the Push project, Gerlad Magashi, hailed the partnership, saying it has yielded positive results.
Apart from reducing dropout rates among children in low income townships of Mzuzu, Magashi said there has been a significant change in occurrence of hygiene, related infections in 8,800 households.
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