Stakeholders describe creation of Ministry of Water and Sanitation as a step towards achieving goals

Stakeholders in the water sector have described the establishment of the Ministry of Water and Sanitation as a step towards achieving both national and international development goals.

In constituting his new Cabinet, President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera de-linked the Water and Sanitation Department from the Ministry of Agriculture as a standalone ministry.

The development has excited Water, Environment and Sanitation Network (Wes-Net) Board Chairperson, Yankho Mataya, who told reporters on Friday in Lilongwe, that instituting the Ministry of Water and Sanitation is the step in the right direction for the country.

“We have been fighting for this as a sector for a long time. This will help the nation to make progress in achieving nationwide coverage of these essential services like water, sanitation and hygiene,” Mataya said.

She said water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) has an enabling role to play in achieving Malawi 2063 agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

WASH is a catalyst that allows other factors to work like health, education, agriculture, industry among others.

WaterAid Executive Director, Mercy Masoo, said they expect the development in the ministry to live on.

“We need to increase the number of people who access wash services,” she said.

According to the National Statistical Office (NSO) Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), only 12.2 per cent of households have access to basic drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in the country.

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