Another Mileston for Hygiene Village Project TA Chikowi Attains ODF Status
||USAID through MSH- ONSE Project
The National Sanitation and Hygiene Technical Committee (NSHTC) on 14th January declared TA Chikowi from Zomba Open Defecation Free Zone. Senior Chief Chikowi will be the 137th TA in Malawi to attain the ODF status.
Hygiene Village acknowledges problems associated with sanitation and hygiene in Zomba District. Sanitation and hygiene remains a very big challenge which is mainly attributed to low literacy levels and hence lack of appreciation for the importance of good sanitation. Low household income levels further exacerbates the poor sanitation conditions of the targeted communities.
According to the 2014 MDG End Line Survey for Zomba (Zomba SEP), the percentage of household members using an improved sanitation facility which is not shared was at 49% compared to Malawi (41%) and Southern Region (28%). Although Zomba District has a higher rate, there is need to do more to address the situation.
Overall, 7% of rural households in Zomba have no toilet facility at all. This again implies that there is need for more interventions to address sanitation challenges in Zomba district and the country as whole. It is estimated that about 40% of households in Zomba use open defecation or share latrines with neighbours as a source of human waste disposal. With the low percentage of latrine ownership and as indicated by the District Health Office it is evident that open defecation is rampant in the district. Coupled poor hygiene practices, poor sanitation remains a very big threat to lives especially to children under five in the district.
Zomba District has Eleven (11) traditional authorities namely Kuntumanje, Chikowi, Mlumbe, Mbiza, Mkumbira, Mwambo, Malemia, Nkagula, Nkapita, Mgwelero and Ntholowa. Out of these Nkagula, Malemia, Kuntumanje and currently Chikowi are declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
Hygiene Village Project through ONSE project facilitated the attainment of TA Malemia and Chikowi to be ODF.