World Vision in partnership with Water for People has expressed commitment to help the Malawi government in provision of improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in the country.
This is according to World Vision Malawi National Director, Francis Dube who was speaking on Friday February 18 during the official launch of WASH services for everyone project in Chiradzulu district.
Speaking at the event which was held at St. Tereza School ground in the district, Dube said the project which is worth USD10 million (approximately K8 billion) is so crucial to the country and Chiradzulu in particular.
He said WASH services are fundamental to human development and across the Sustainable Development Goals claiming people with better access to sanitation and water are healthier and can contribute more to society.
The World Vision National Director further added that WASH services may not be free of charge but they set children free from diseases and women free from a burden of fetching water afar.
“For World Vision, access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene may not be cost-free but it sets children free because it means; A child is free of diseases, a woman is free of the back-breaking chore to fetch water.
“A girl child is free to attend school without fear, a village is free of cholera, and it also means a world of greater equality and dignity for all. This is why this project is very special to World Vision, Water for People and the people of Chiradzulu,” said Dube.
Dube has since assured Malawians of total support through continuation of all WASH interventions across the country and has also appealed for collective efforts to attain sustainable development goals on WASH.
He said among others, the three-year project will see more than 84,560 people in the district accessing safe water, construction of four new mechanized water systems for communities and facilitating Open Defecation Free (ODF) attainment in 9 Traditional Authorities.
Speaking at the same event, deputy minister of water & sanitation, John Bande who presided over the launch, thanked World Vision Malawi and Water for People for the multibillion project which he said will greatly improve WASH services in Chiradzulu district.
Bande said the Malawi Government is doing all it can to ensure that improved and inclusive WASH service delivery issues are addressed.
He added that his ministry will make sure that funds for such projects are ringfenced and used for intended purposes.
“I want to assure you that the Government is very committed to ensure prudence in donor resource utilization while enhancing value for money in planning and managing such projects’ funds. I hereby also take this opportunity to ask other non- governmental organizations even the corporate world, to emulate the same,” said Bande.
Chiradzulu district was selected for the project as statistics show that 22% of the population still lack access to a safe source of drinking water against the national average of 9%.
It is also reported that 75% of households in the district have no access to improved sanitation and one out of 15 health care facilities in the district has access to a functional piped water system.
Since 2010, World Vison Malawi through WASH programs has drilled 2,270 boreholes, rehabilitated 1,532 boreholes and installed 1,896 taps reaching out to over 1,242,814 people with clean water.