Malawi will for the first time hold a national sanitation and hygiene learning event aimed at discussing challenges and innovations relating to sanitation and hygiene in the light of national aspirations to make Malawi open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2021.
The event which will be officially opened by Minister of Health Dr Peter Kumpalume will be held from 3 to 4 May at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
According to a statement issued by National Sanitation and Hygiene Coordinating Unit in the Ministry of Health through Accelerated Sanitation and Hygiene Practices Programme (ASAP), the event is aimed at bringing key government, civil society and private sector stakeholders working in the country’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector.
At the event to be held under the theme “Improving access and sustainability of sanitation and hygiene in Malawi,” the stakeholders will discuss Sustainable Development Goal target 6.2 which aims to achieve adequate and equitable access to sanitation and hygiene for all, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable positions by 2030.
“The event will facilitate the sharing of experiences and best practices by engaging participants in dialogue around issues of national policies and delivery models to improve poor communities access to sanitation and hygiene, integrated WASH programming, importance of equity and non-discrimination approaches, as well as improved access and sustainability to sanitation and hygiene,” reads the statement.
The statement adds that to complement the technical sessions of the event, participants will have the opportunity to visit the concurrent “WASH Knowledge Hub” comprising pavilions where organizations working with WASH sector will be able to showcase their best practices, products, services and innovations.
The conclusions of the event will help inform government of Malawi’s efforts to update the National Sanitation Policy and ODF and Handwashing Strategy while key learning points are anticipated to inform ongoing WASH programmes by implemented by various government, civil society and private sector stakeholders in the country.
The keynote address at the event will be done by renowned sanitation and hygiene specialist Dr Steven Taulo from University of Malawi.