About 800 households in the Traditional Authority Makhuwira in Malawi’s southern district of Chikhwawa are experiencing a lease of their lives following the construction of about 113 boreholes which has helped drastically reduce the rate of diarrhea and cholera, thanks to the Water and Sanitation Project run by the international non governmental organisation (NGO) Water for People.
Statistic show that before the introduction of the project in 2008, the attack rate of diarrhea was at 0.2 percent which is the highest by world standards but now it has significantly reduced 0.007.
The NGO’s program manager for the district Loti Ching’oma told Nyasa Times that the reduction is because of the effort they put in place which included the drilling of boreholes to avert people fetching water from unprotected sources like wells and rivers which risked them getting the waterborne diseases.
“What we have done is to go to the areas where the problem is high, and work with the communities to drill new boreholes. For example we have so far drilled 113 boreholes and plans are in the offing to drill more boreholes to meet our goal of ensuring that every community has access to clean water,” he said.
Residents have hailed the initiative saying apart from reduced incidence of water borne diseases it has helped them reduce long distances they were travelling to access clean water and also the burden in fetching water.
“Before the initiative we used to travel long distances to fetch clean water. For example we would wake up early in the morning to battle for clean water at a water point which was as far as two kilometers away .Sometimes we would spend a night at the water point,” said Emily Batumeyo a Secretary of Water Point Committee at Kasokoneza village.
She said the drilling of boreholes has ended all the misery and now residents are no longer contracting waterborne diseases as was the case before when they were fetching water from nearby rivers.
However , Water for People Country Director Kate Harawa said the organisation is now planning to extend the initiative to the rest of the district.
“Our goal is to make sure that in Chikhwawa everyone that is, 434, 000 people has access to safe water and sanitation and it should be forever and sustainable even after we have left,” she said.
She disclosed that the organization is this year planning to drill additional 41 boreholes and other 100 boreholes next year.
The organization has been doing this with support from Global Sanitation Fund, Charity Water, and Climate Justice Fund.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :