TAS CHIKUMBU IN MULANJE AND MALEMIA IN ZOMBA ATTAIN OPEN DEFECATION FREE (ODF) STATUS
||USAID through ONSE project
Jovial mood has engulfed Mulanje and Zomba District Council Officials, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) stakeholders and communities in T/As Chikumbu in Mulanje and Malemia in Zomba as the National Sanitation and Hygiene Technical Committee (NSHTC) in the Ministry of Health has finally declared Senior Chiefs Chikumbu and Malemia - Open Defecation Free zones in the two districts.
Senior Chief Chikumbu joins TA Nthiramanja, Sub TAs Tombondiya and Ndanga in Mulanje while Senior Chief Malemia joins TAs Nkagula and Nkutumanje which have already attained ODF status.
In an interview Senior Chief Chikumbu of Mulanje described the achievement as a milestone and further attributed it to sound coordination that existed between leaders and the people. She added that such an achievement is encouraging as it paints a good image of the district. According to Chikumbu, the achievement would reduce outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera that have in recent years plagued the district. “I owe this achievement to my people. They worked tirelessly to see to it that we attain this status,” said the visibly cheerful chief.
In an interview Senior Chief Malemia of Zomba said the following “We had put in place a deliberate work plan where we were conducting door to door campaigns and inspections on latrine coverage ,and this also contributed highly to our success”, says Malemia. He has since assured the members that they will continue conducting monitoring activities in all the areas to maintain the status.
The project was funded by USAID through the Organized Network Services for Everyone’s Health (ONSE). Hygiene Village Project was sub contracted as an implementing partner. The project focused on uplifting the sanitation ladder through sanitation marketing and Community Led Total Sanitation approached.
In Zomba Hygiene Village is implementing in TAs Malemia, Chikowi, Mlumbe, Mwambo and Sub TA Nkapita while in Mulanje Hygiene Village Project is implementing in TAs Mabuka, Sunganimzeru, Chikumbu, Mnthiramanja and Sub TA Tombondiya since September 2018.
National Sanitation and Hygiene Technical Committee report, shows that of the 790 (24%) sampled households in TA Chikumbu that were verified showed latrine coverage was at 99.1%, while in TA Malemia 18 sampled villages that were verified which represented 20% of the villages in Malemia the latrine coverage, handwashing with soap, drophole cover was at 100%.
National Sanitation and Hygiene Technical Committee advised the leadership in the areas to keep on working hard so that the status remains, adding they don’t expect to see the area losing its status.
In Mulanje the sentiments were presented by the Council Representative, Maselina Kausiwa Msamanyada who is Mulanje DHO Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response Coordinator said Mulanje District Council is happy for the achievement as this was the second time for TA Chikumbu to be verified after the area failed to be granted the ODF status in 2017. Msamanyada added that the council is geared towards putting Mulanje on the map by seeing to it that the whole district is ODF. According to Nsamanyada, the council in partnership with the leadership in the area and communities at large will make sure that they maintain the status. She therefore commended Hygiene Village Project for the efforts put towards the achievement and financial support that USAID through ONSE is rendering to council.
HVP Executive Director Roy Khonyongwa and the Programme Officer Ernest Maganga had the same remarks. They will continue working tirelessly by complementing government efforts in as far as CLTS is concerned.
Hygiene Village Project has also managed to contribute to the attainment of ODF status in TAs Malengachanzi and Mwazama in Nkhotakota District, TAs Chowe and Namavi in Mangochi District, TAs Makata and Lundu in Blantyre District and TA Kalumbu in Lilongwe District.