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Standards, guidelines crucial in addressing WASH challenges

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Deputy Director for Child Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Justin Hamela, says national minimum standards and guidelines for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are essential in dealing with WASH related challenges in Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDCs) in Malawi.

Hamela disclosed this in Lilongwe during the handover of National Minimum Standards and Guidelines for WASH in ECDCs booklet to central region district councils.

He expressed optimism that the standards and guidelines will help in mitigating challenges faced by ECDCs in Malawi.

Hamela: This will help in addressing some of the challenges that ECDCs face

“We had challenges in our ECDCs such as lack of toilets, water and proper kitchens. Some other centres have them but of low standards which has contributed to waterborne diseases and other related problems,” Hamela said.

He stressed that the standards and guidelines will ensure uniformity in the construction of ECDCs in Malawi which has been a problem in the past as every organisation was coming with its own design due to lack of standards and guidelines.

WaterAid Malawi Coordinator for Policy and Sector Engagement, Lloyd Mtalimanja, emphasised on effectiveness of the standards and guidelines in ECDCs.

“These guidelines state basic minimum requirements for WASH service provision in ECDCs; they outline the core WASH areas and thresholds to be met for implementation, rehabilitation and commissioning of WASH services in ECDCs. These standards will harmonise WASH service provision in ECDCs,” Mtalimanja said.

He, therefore, asked for coordination among stakeholders within the councils for effectiveness and efficiency of the standards and guidelines.

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