Modern toilets improving sanitation in MK2.5bn pilot project

The Lilongwe Water and Sanitation Project, under its pilot Sanitation on Site component, has, so far, resulted in construction of 156 modern toilets in high density areas of Chinsapo, Kauma and Phwetekere, igniting hope for improved sanitation and safer environment in these areas.

The toilets, that will be periodically emptied, are also being constructed in Mtandire, Mtsiliza and Mgona.

At least 250 new modern toilets will be constructed in each of the six areas, according to Coordinator for the project from Lilongwe City Council, Cleaverson Nyando.

The pilot project, targeting 1000 households, is being financed by the World Bank to the tune of MK2.5 billion. It will later spread to many other high density areas in the City of Lilongwe, benefiting 7000 additional households.

Speaking Friday in Chinsapo, where a contractor has finished constructing 100 toilets, Nyando said the project seeks to achieve a safe environment.

“Most community toilets deposit waste into the ground, resulting in pollution of water and the environment. We want people to use these modern toilets, which they can empty after some years and then deposit the waste somewhere safe, where it can be treated and managed as manure.

Moreover, these ordinary toilets take up a lot of space, for a new one must be dug up whenever the other one is full. People can use that space for something more productive,” said Nyando.

He added that a willing household is supposed to contribute only MK50,000 or MK75,000 towards construction costs of a modern toilet under the pilot project, depending on the type of the unit they select. According to Nyando, the prospective beneficiaries are then registered.

“Then a technical team comes to verify, looking at the vulnerability of a household in terms of; Do they have a toilet, already? What kind of a toilet? Can they manage to contribute? Is the household, female headed? How many people in the compound?” he said.

Monica Milanzi, a beneficiary from village head Chikapaza in Chinsapo, commended the sanitation pilot project, saying “it has changed her attitude towards cleanliness and safety of her environment”.

The Mayor of the City of Lilongwe, Councillor Richard Banda, called upon residents and other relevant stakeholders to embrace and support the project.

“Residents and stakeholders must be actively involved in the project. This will actualize our expectations for much improved sanitation and safer environment,” Banda said.

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