The minister made the remarks on Thursday during a joint press briefing where she announced the lifting of the suspension on the opening of schools in Lilongwe and Blantyre cities following a successful implementation of preventive measures in the schools.
She observed that while the councils in the country are doing their best to ensure the cleanliness of the environment in markets, streets, and other places, in some cities waste management remains a big problem.
Chiponda, who is also co-chair for the Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus and Cholera, has since urged all councils and institutions to ensure that cholera preventive measures are implemented all the time.
“Close, with immediate effect, all marketing, transport and travel, sporting, religious and entertainment facilities, including those belonging to the local councils, that do not have on-site safe water, functional toilets, organized and hygienic refuse disposal facilities until the deficiencies are corrected,” said Chiponda.
She added: “Clean up all centralized refuse dump sites, or hygienically retire filled-up dumpsites.”
The Task Force has also banned, with immediate effect, vending of precooked foods along streets, in local markets and bus depots, and within school premises.
The minister has since announced that schools in the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe shall open on Tuesday, January 17, despite the rising number of cases across the country.
This follows the Taskforce’s joint assessment with other stakeholders such as the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, and the Ministry of Education, among others, on schools in the two cities during the two-week delay.
As of Wednesday, the country had recorded 22,759 cholera cases and 750 deaths since the first cases were recorded in March 2022.