The Ministry of Health and Population has honored Senior Chief Malemia of Zomba district after his area emerged the 2019 best achiever in Open Defecation Free initiative which is aimed at promoting sanitation and hygiene.
The ministry presented the certificate of recognition in an event which was held at Songani ground in Katete village in the area of Traditional Authority Malemia.
Malawi government adopted the community-led total sanitation in 2008 with an aim of making the country open defecation free by promoting sanitation and hygiene in the communities with the primary objective of reducing sanitation related diseases.
Presenting the certificate, the guest of honor at the event, Grace Kwelepeta, who is the deputy minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, and also the Member of Parliament for the area, said it is only people who are in good healthy who can effectively participate in the country’s development.
Kwelepeta said: “I believe that good healthy is the greatest priority in people’s lives and the culture of using toilets is the root of good health so my presence here is to encourage these people to keep on following sanitation measures.”
She further promised to lobby for cheaper building materials for modern toilets and ensure they are found close to the community for easy access.
Deputy Director of Preventive Health Services responsible for Environmental Health, Aron Ganizani said government is aiming at transforming the whole country into an open defecation free by 2030 as in line with Sustainable Development Goals and currently the campaign has reached 119 out of a total of 268 Traditional Authorities in the country.
In his remarks, Senior Chief Malemia expressed gratitude for being recognized and said he decided to engage his subjects in sanitation campaign after realizing that his area was at risk of sanitation related disease outbreaks after noticing rampant unhygienic practices in his area.
Organized Network of Service for Everyone’s Health (ONSEH) project, with support from United States government, has been assisting the area in promoting sanitation in the area resulting into 95% of the households having their own toilets in the year 2019.