Alliance One spends K17m on cholera fight

Government has commended Alliance One Tobacco – one of the tobacco buying and processing companies in Malawi, for donating various sanitary items that helps in the fight against the deadly water-borne diseases such as cholera worth over K17 million.

The donated items, which included chlorine, hand soap and water buckets with taps, among others, will be distributed to 19 primary schools in the Central Region in order to improve the hygiene standards and prevent the spreading of cholera among the learners.

Banda (right) making a symbolic handover to Chalamira Nkhoma

Speaking during the handover ceremony of the items in Lilongwe on Thursday, Co-Chairperson for the Special Taskforce on Cholera, Dr. Wilfred Chalamira Nkhoma, commended Alliance One Tobacco for responding positively to its appeal for assistance that should go towards efforts of combating the current cholera outbreak which has affected the country since February last year.

According to Chalamira Nkhoma, his taskforce is need of more assistance from the private sector and the civil society groups in the country so that it can effectively deal with current cholera outbreak.

“As a Taskforce we need more collaboration and all kinds of contributions and assistance from the private sector, individuals and non-governmental organizations among others so that we can ably deal with this cholera outbreak which has reached alarming levels at this point in time,” said Chalamira Nkhoma.

Some of the donated items by Alliance One to the special Taskforce

He however urged other companies in the country to emulate the gesture shown by Alliance One Tobacco Malawi and assist his Taskforce through various donations and interventions which can help to eradicate the outbreak in the country.

In his remarks Director of Human Resource for Alliance One Tobacco Malawi Emmanuel Banda said his company decided to respond to the Taskforce’s appeal for assistance and in response donated the sanitary items to the selected primary schools as one way of fulfilling its corporate social responsibility in the country.

“As a corporate responsible organization we decided to donate these items to the Taskforce because we also wanted to take part in the actual fight against the current cholera outbreak as part of our corporate social responsibility program. We always focus at complimenting government’s efforts in improving the living standards of people in the country through various initiatives in different sectors including health as well as water and sanitation among others,” said Banda.

He explained that learners from both primary and secondary schools are among the most risk population in as far as spreading of various waterborne diseases are concerned including cholera hence his company was compelled to direct this donation to the 19 selected primary schools.

According to Banda, his company has also spent about K280 million through its water and sanitation program under which various boreholes and wells have been drilled in different areas of the country as one way of improving access to clean water among the rural communities of which majority of them are tobacco growers.

“As a company we are excited to see that this donation will help over 34,000 beneficiaries which in the process will effectively help to improve the hygienic standards among the learners and thereby go a long way in combating the spreading of both water and food borne diseases particularly cholera among them,” Banda said.

Some of the primary school which will benefit from the donation includes Mtanila, Tsokankanasi Chiwundira, Kambuyana, Manondo and Chiputu primary schools based in Dowa, Kasungu, Ntchisi, Mchinji and Lilongwe rural among others.

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