By Aliko Munde, MANA
Nkhata Bay District Council and Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) have launched a 20-year Sanitation and Hygiene Investment Plan to guide implementation and promotion of sanitation and hygiene services in the district.
During the launch on Thursday at Nkhata Bay District Council Chamber, a sanitation set of equipment worth K15.9 million was handed over to the council.
NRWB Chief Executive Engineer, Titus Mtegha noted that only the district hospital has a sewer system in Nkhata Bay.
“Households rely on septic tanks in locations where water is supplied through individual house connections. Pit latrines are the most common types of on-site sanitation serving the urban and peri-urban population,” Mtegha said.
He said this was why NRWB board felt it was important to develop the Strategic Sanitation and Hygiene Investment Plan.
“We expect the Council, among other roles, to maintain and repair the equipment and facilities and keep them in good working order.
“Further, the Council needs to use the provided set of equipment for solid waste management within areas under its jurisdiction.
“The Council should also communicate and mobilise communities to make full and effective use of the solid waste management facilities,” Mtegha said.
NRWB chairperson, Reverend Haward Matiya Nkhoma said stakeholders’ understanding and support is key to the success of every project.
“I believe that through the operationalisation of this plan and optimal use of the equipment, we will go a long way to address some of the sanitation challenges the town and surrounding areas have been experiencing,” the Rev. said.
On his part, Nkhata Bay District Council chairperson, Acran Chenya said Sanitation and Hygiene Investment plan will improve people’s health and livelihood through provision of sustainable water supply and improved sanitation.
“We are going to use the equipment for the intended purpose. As a Council, we will also ensure that the equipment is repaired,” Chenya assured.
The sanitation equipment which has been handed over to the local council include wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes, industrial suits, safety boots, movable garbage bins, bin liners and slashers.
Nkhata Bay Integrated-Urban-Water-and-Sanitation Project is being financed by African Development Bank (ADB), Opec Fund for International Development (OFID) and Malawi Government.