People in Chikwawa district Senior Chief Ngabu celebrated Open Free Defecation status on Wednesday at Ngabu the event which was attended by the Minister of Health Jappie Mhango and organised by World Vision in collaboration with Water for People organisation.
Ngabu is one of the areas in the Lower Shire that has been practicing open defecation, and the coming in of the floods and cyclone idai worsened the situation since people’s houses including their toilets collapsed hence encouraged open defecation.
Senior Chief Ngabu said it was not easy for them to attain the ODF status but with the help of different organization, field officers and the villagers themselves they have managed to achieve this.
“We faced a lot of challenges as we embarked on this project of making sure that there is sanitation in this area, but here we are today celebrating that we have achieved it. This means that we will no longer live in fear of cholera and other diarrhea diseases since the chances of contacting waterborne diseases have decreased and this will benefit the villagers a lot,” he said.
In his remark, World Vision director of programmes Charles Chimombo outlined some of the initiatives by the organisation .
“Due to floods 8834 toilets fell down and it was not easy to build them but we have built nearly 9,000 toilets. We have also made sure that people should have clean water and we drilled boreholes, rehabilitated some that were not in good condition, on top of that we installed water taps,” Chimombo said.
Before handling the certificate of declaration of ODF in Ngabu to senior Chief Ngabu, the Minister of Health and Population Mhangp thanked the two organizations; World Vision and Water for People for making sure that Ngabu attain ODF status and also encouraged people to continue what has started.
“Am happy to be here in the area of senior Chief Ngabu where they have just obtained their ODF status as a preventative measure of diarrhea. Prevention is better than cure, and in the ministry we have an intervention which is to make sure that people in every setup have toilets that will prevent waterborne diseases that comes mostly due to issues of poor hygiene.
“If people will use toilets then there will be no threats of transmitting waterborne diseases. Six traditional authorities have attained ODF and five are remaining, my appeal to other chiefs is that they should also do the same and attain this status so that in 2020 we will prevent lots of waterborne diseases such as cholera”, he said.
Malawi government adopted the community-led total sanitation in 2008 with an aim of making the country open defecation free by promoting sanitation and hygiene in the communities with the primary objective of reducing sanitation-related diseases.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :