Minister of Health Jappie Mhango says 118 Traditional Authorities in the country have so far attained open defecation free status.
Mhango said this on Wednesday when the ministry in conjunction with World Vision recognized the area of Traditional Authority Mavwere in Mchinji as one of the most hygienic areas in the country.
During the function, Mhango presented a certificate of recognition to TA Mavwere for standing out in promoting hygiene.
He said currently government has recognized over 118 traditional leaders for their outstanding performance in the areas of sanitation and hygiene.
Mhango further said through a Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program World Vision is running in the area, Mavwere has set a trend that other traditional leaders should emulate in the district.
“As part of the program of promoting hygiene amongst our citizens, government took a deliberate policy to recognize chiefs that are doing very well in ensuring that citizens are living a hygienic life.
“Currently about 118 chiefs have managed to achieve the ODF status, and one of them is Traditional Authority Mavwere of Mchinji,” said Mhango.
Mhango further said hygiene is so crucial to development since only healthy citizens can be productive to the local economy.
He commended World Vision for working tirelessly in the area to ensure that citizens enjoy good health.
World Vision WASH Technical Programs Manager, Deborah Mheka reaffirmed her organization’s commitment to ensuring a healthy citizenry.
She further applauded various partners who have been working with her organization in achieving the open defecation free (ODF) status in Mavwere.
“World Vision is helping government in attaining the open defecation free status according to the policy government has put in place. So in terms of ODF, what we are doing as World Vision, is working with district councils.
“We go to the rural areas where we are encouraging communities, each and every household to build a latrine so that they use it and stop defecating in the bush, and now here in Mavwere every household has a proper toilet structure,” she said.
Mheka commended Traditional Authority Mavwere and his subjects for being receptive to the development initiatives by World Vision in his area.
She said World Vision will continue to impact on people’s lives in the area through provision of clean and potable water within walkable distances and also promotion of good hygiene practices.
Currently World vision has drilled 173 boreholes and rehabilitated 34 others in the area of Traditional Authority Mavwere in the district through Likasi and Buamtete catchment areas eventually reaching out to close to 70 000 citizens.