Blantyre City Council is geared to build and rehabilitate about 100 public toilets in the city to improve sanitation especially in markets and other public places.
The City’s Mayor Noel Chalamanda launched the sanitation project on Friday in Blantyre which is co-funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Department of International Development (DFID) to the tune of US$2 638 272 (About K1 billion).
The project would be implemented by a partnership of the Council, a non-governmental organisation called AYISES/Blantyre Waste Concern and the Netherlands based NGO WASTE.
Said Chalamanda; “I am delighted this morning to preside over the launch of this very important project which will transform the sanitation situation in our beautiful Blantyre City.”
He said the success of the three-year sanitation project would be based on good results achieved in managing market toilets, developing pit latrine emptying services, and in treating fecal sludge.
“It is noted that among the challenges facing Blantyre City to be addressed with this project are insufficient number of useable public toilets, many private and public toilets that are full of fecal sludge, overflowing toilets especially during the rainy season, collected fecal sludge being dumped haphazardly into the environment, pollution of rivers and streams and unhygienic and unhealthy living conditions,” he said.
He added: “We want Blantyre City to achieve the following results: a significant reduction of open defecation; the City’s population accessing clean public toilet in markets, bus stations and neighborhoods; residents that have access to pit emptying services that are safe and that offer value for money so that overflowing toilets no longer pollute neighborhoods and rivers a reduction in the illegal dumping of sewage by upgrading and increasing the number of sludge treatment sites and a reduction of sanitation related complaints to the Council.”
“To achieve the clean City by 2018, the Council with its partners would ensure that 100 public toilets have been upgraded or built and that it has entered into Service Level Agreements with service providers to operate and maintain these public toilets to acceptable standards based on user fees,” he further said.
Chalamanda said the Council would ensure that both public toilets and household latrines are usable and never full of sludge, as the City creates an enabling environment where the private sector purchases modern, hygienic and efficient latrine emptying equipment.
“It is will also upgrade five Fecal Sludge Management (Treatment/Disposal/Reuse) sites that would be operated under agreements with the private sector or semi-government organizations,” said the Mayor.
The project is designed in such a way that the investments in equipment and public toilets are shared between the Council and the private sector.
The investments by the project money are meant to kick start these investments since the Council has already significantly increased the 2015 budget allocation to improve sanitation in the City in order to fulfill its obligations
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