Nurse-in-Charge for Kande Health Centre in Nkhata Bay, Chipiliro Chaluwa says the facility has been grappling with lack of potable water over the past seven years and this was affecting provision of health services.
Speaking on Monday, during commissioning of a solar powered water project at the health centre, Chaluwa said the facility faced challenges in infection control and maintaining hygiene, which particularly affected the maternity wing.
He explained: “Mostly, we referred patients to Chintheche Hospital because without water we could not provide other critical services.
“At times we could send guardians to fetch water from far distances where they were also scrambling with community members. Now that we have this solar energy generating facility, we thank government for the consideration.”
Senior Chief Fukamapiri described the solar water supply system as landmark, saying people in his area will access health services they were deprived of due to lack of portable water at the facility.
“It was worrying to see people mainly expectant mothers walking long distances to Chintheche Hospital when our area has a health facility. This water project is not only helping the health centre but also Kande Primary School and surrounding communities,” he said.
Nkhata Bay District Commissioner (DC), Rodgers Newa said the solar powered water supply system will provide access to portable water to over 16500 members of surrounding communities.
The project has been implemented by Nkhata Bay District Council with support from UNICEF and USAID as a response to cholera outbreak in 2022.
Reported by Chisomo Kambandanga