Chiradzulu and Chikwawa residents are enjoying increased access to safe water and sanitation services, thanks to non- State actors’ efforts.
This came out when Water for People organised a media tour in the two districts, where it is implementing a water, sanitation and hygiene project.
Delia Dominga of Sadulo Village, Traditional Authority Katunga in Chikwawa District, said women in the area used to cover long distances to fetch water, a problem that was addressed when the organisation drilled a borehole for them.
“Our children no longer go to school late. In the past, we used to wake up at 5am and go to water sources, only to come back around 10am. This is no longer the case,” she said.
Edna Kapita of Chituta Village, Sub- Traditional Authority Mpunga, Chiradzulu, said waterborne diseases have become a thing of the past after the organisation constructed boreholes in the area and taught them how to make soap.
“We use the soap for washing our hands before eating food, cooking and after using the toilet and this has helped us a lot, in terms of disease prevention,” she said.
Chiradzulu District Council Water Development Officer Macpherson Kuseli said the project has increased coverage of functional water points in the district.
“Water coverage in our communities, schools and health facilities has greatly improved. Now we have increased coverage of functional water points across the district and in all zones. Before this project, the water coverage rate was at 73 percent but now it has risen to over 86 percent,” Kuseli said.
Water for People Country Director Ulemu Chiluzi said the organisation is excited with the impact the initiative has had on the two districts.
“We are always excited when we see that we are making transformational changes in communities in regards to water supply, sanitation and hygiene because these issues are cross-cutting. If you do not have safe water, then the implication might be people drinking from unsafe sources,” Chiluzi said.
He further said Water for People is investing about K5 billion annually in water, sanitation, and hygiene projects in Chikwawa, Chiradzulu and Blantyre Urban.
“We make investments in communities, schools and other public institutions like healthcare service facilities to make sure that no one is left behind and we ensure that we align everything to Sustainable Development Goals 6, which has to be met by 2030,” he said.
Matilda Chimwaza Majawa is a Features Reporter at Times Group. She is passionate about women and girls empowerment.