A study shows that people in Dowa are still defecating in open spaces despite many parts of the district being declared open defecation free.
Dowa Fisheries Officer Francis Sidira has since asked non-governmental organisations to come up with interventions of reducing the trend.
Sidira said it is worrisome to see that after many of the Traditional Authority areas were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) zones, a Care Malawi Southern African Nutrition Initiative (SANI) Baseline report is indicating that 5.4 percent of people in Dowa and Ntchisi are still defecating in open areas and others share toilet facilities.
The baseline study was sampled in the two districts, Dowa and Ntchisi, where Care Malawi is implementing its project – Southern African Nutrition Initiative (SANI).
In Dowa, the study sampled out 770 households in the areas of T/As Kayembe and Dzoole with an expected outcome of improving nutritional status of women and girls of reproductive age between 15 – 49 years.
The report said in all the surveyed T/As, results showed that most of the diarrhoea cases were found in children aged between 12 to 17 months.
It revealed that some mothers do not safely dispose of their children’s stool as they just throw it anyhow into drains or ditches.
The baseline survey report made some recommendations which include comprehensive hygiene education as part of the programing to improve hygiene practices and reduce environmental exposures to diarrhoea focusing on Open Defecation Free.