Malawi’s First Lady Gertrude Mutharika says in the country families lose their children to malaria and other preventable diseases, simply because their communities lack proper sanitation and waste management.
Mutharika said this Saturday night at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe during the official launch and fundraising dinner of the Gertrude Mutharika Beautify Malawi Trust (BEAM) which is aimed at increased access to participatory and improved sanitation and sustainable community management of waste and sanitation facilities in country.
“I get emotion when I remember situations that have unnecessarily cost innocent lives with the preventable diseases such as malaria and diarrhea,” said Mutharika.
She said that it has been confirmed that there is serious and widespread illegal open dumping due to little waste collection, this result in backyard incineration by communities.
Mutharika said the filter from the dumpsite continues to pollute underground water, which is an important alternative source of water for many city/town residents.
“Loose papers and plastics are everywhere, men are still urinating in the open, creating negative environmental impacts and increased health risk of the residents. Thank God women do not partake of this evil habit,” said the First Lady.
She said open waste-dumps are primary breeding sites for mosquitoes, houseflies, rodents and other vectors of communicable diseases such as fever, diarrhea, cholera, dysentery and malaria. Fumes from burning waste causes respiratory infections and make environment uninhabitable.
The President’s wife said it is unfortunate that those that are most affected are innocent children, youths and women.
The First Lady therefore thanked and acknowledged President Mutharika for his guidance and support by encouraging her to pursue her dreams of a cleaner and healthier Malawi.
During the launch and the Fundraising dinner the BEAM trust has managed to raise over MK55 million.