HomeLocal NewsWater and SanitationWASH sector at the heart of Chakwera administration – Mia

WASH sector at the heart of Chakwera administration – Mia

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Minister of Water and Sanitation Abida Mia has disclosed that the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are at the heart of President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s administration.

Mia said this is why the incumbent government has given WASH sector a priority, as it is at the centre of the social and economic development of Malawi.

She made the remarks in Lilongwe on Thursday when she opened a two-day joint sector review for Water, Hygiene and Sanitation Sector.

Mia also disclosed that her ministry has finalized the development of a strategic plan that will guide the activities of the water sector for the next five years.

She said the plan has been aligned to the Malawi 2063 First Ten Year Implementation Plan (MIP-1).

“Water is also at the centre of global peace, universal health and education for all. This is why this sector covers water, health, education, finance, gender and many more. Being such an important sector, it is imperative that we should be meeting regularly as we have done to review progress and jointly address emerging issues,” she said.

Mia addressing participants to the joint sector review meeting at the Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe

The minister said apart from the development of a strategic plan, her ministry has made a number of achievements, including the revision of the National Water Policy and development of the website.

The ministry, she continued, is also finalizing review of the National Sanitation and Hygiene Policy; Water Works Act and will soon commence development of a comprehensive water and sanitation investment plan.

She, however, stated that the ministry also faced many challenges, citing the cholera outbreak.

She appealed to Malawians not to relax and relent in their fight against the disease.

In his remarks, Water and Environmental Sanitation Network (WES Network) Board Director, Chandiwira Chisi, requested the ministry to lobby for increased financing of District Water Offices, especially their other recurrent transactions (ORT), which he observed to be ‘very little as compared to other departments at district level’.

Chisi said the financing limitation is affecting district efforts to coordinate district WASH players and services.

“Due to climate change, Malawi is faced with a lot of challenges that are resulting in drastic reduction of water levels in almost all sources. Some of our water points have dried up as a result of low water tables, water levels of our lakes have also been going down from time to time, rivers have been drying up, other open water reservoirs are also drying up,” he narrated.

Chisi: Government should increase funding to WASH sector

Quoting the National Statistical Office (NSO), Chisi dislcoed that 87 percent of Malawians have access to portable water supply.

He, however, said this average masks the variability across regions, districts and also people of different group orientations.

“Thus, the global agenda is encouraging us to ensure that No one should be left behind when it comes to accessing WASH services. As experts in the sector, let’s ensure that our technologies and designs of water and sanitation facilities allow everyone to easily access the services,” emphasized Chisi.

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