HomeNational NewsNationalBlantyre improves sanitation in public institution but drops at household

Blantyre improves sanitation in public institution but drops at household

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A recent survey conducted by Water for People in Blantyre peri-urban areas has revealed that sanitation has improved in public institutions while declining at household level.

The survey conducted early this year targeted public institutions like schools, health facilities and households.

Presenting the findings to stakeholders in Blantyre on Wednesday, the organization’s Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Brian Majamanda said the survey covered almost 96 percent peri-urban public institutions representing a sample of 73, while 1729 peri urban households were reached.

Majamanda said overall, public institutions level of service has increased in peri-urban from 93.5 percent in 2021 to 94.5 in 2023.

He said at households’ level, service has reduced from 98.1 percent in 2021 to 90.7 in 2023.

“At public institutions we were looking at access to improved water system, adequate water quality, funds for maintenance, access to sanitation facilities, infrastructure sanitation and hand washing facilities among others.

“At household we were looking at access to sanitation facilities like toilets, no open defecation, structures, floors, roof, household practices safe sludge management, infrastructure hygiene condition among others” he said.

Majamanda presenting findings

According to Majamanda, in all the public institutions visited they found out that level of service was improving, observing they had tools and interventions that promote hygiene and adequate water quantity and capacity to maintain wash infrastructures,

“While at household level, the levels have decreased compared to 2021 due to poor structures and unavailability of wash tools in some places,” he said, adding about 20 percent of households in Blantyre are not practicing safe sludge management.

The survey revealed that Chirimba, Chileka, Chilomoni and Ndirande Malabada are doing well on sanitation with Malabada moving from 75 percent in 2021 to 85 in 2023, while the other three have maintained 100 percent. Soche, Sigerege, Ndirande Namalimwe and Matope, Mzedi, Misesa, Che Somba, Manyowe, Machinjiri among other places have their sanitation level service decrease.

“You may see that at the household level it is a mixed bag. While other places are doing well, others are struggling making overall sanitation in peri urban to be poor at household level. Those doing good are few, while those struggling are many,” he added.

Meanwhile, Blantyre City Council through Deputy Director of Health and Social Services Samudeni Seunda said they have received the survey findings with hope that there are still some things that are being done right in the city.

Seunda said now that the situation is calm after Cyclone Freddy, the city will engage citizens on how to improve sanitation in the peri-urban households.

“Most facilities that could have improved the levels of sanitation were damaged by Cyclone Freddy and no wonder the sanitation has gone down. The survey has really opened some insights that need to be worked on,” he said.

Stakeholders have since agreed that there should be proper coordination and sensitization on how sanitation can improve in Blantyre peri-urban areas, especially at the household level.

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