The Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) has handed over to communities a €1 million (about K560 million) Diarrhoea Mitigation Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project which it was implementing in the area of Traditional Authority Mnkhumba in Phalombe.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, MRCS Deputy President Mary Ngulube said implementation of the three-year long project was influenced by the high mortality and morbidity rate which Phalombe was registering mostly due to diarrhoea disease.
The diarrhoea cases were mainly caused by unsafe water which people in the district were using.
“Realising that it is painful to lose a child to a preventable or curable ailment such as diarrhoea, Malawi Red Cross Society, the Government of Malawi and other stakeholders, with financial support from the Netherlands Red Cross, came together to embark on this project.
“The project’s water and sanitation facilities were handed over to the communities so that they can run them on their own. As we are doing this, we urge communities to take care of the facilities so that they should also benefit generations to come,” said Ngulube.
Ngulube added that the project mainly focused on four areas namely provision of improved water sources promotion of hygiene and sanitation services, provision of diarrhoea drugs for early treatment and capacity building for the benefiting communities.
“Through the provision of improved water sources, the project rehabilitated and upgraded Phalombe Minor Gravity Water fed system to support about 20 communities. It also rehabilitated 45 boreholes and provided 2,200 water filters to some households and schools who still had no access to safe water sources,” said Ngulube.
As part of the project, MRCS constructed 80 latrines in eight schools and pit-emptied and repaired 20 latrines in two primary schools.
The organisation also constructed 20 urinals and 20 hand washing facilities for boys and girls in the same schools as well as eight latrines at Mpasa and Migowi health centres.