Safe water programme to benefit 2.7 million people in 8 districts

Minister of Health, Khumbize Chiponda launching the programme 

* Chlorine dispensers at several water points in Blantyre, Chiradzulu, Neno, Mwanza, Balaka, Mangochi and Machinga

* The program will provide safe water access to 15% of the population and 35% in Southern Region

By Chilungamo Missi, MANA

Evidence Action, an organization which scales evidence-based and cost-effective programmes to reduce the burden of poverty, has launched a safe water program in Blantyre district to address challenges of water borne diseases.

The programme has installed chlorine dispensers at several water points in Blantyre and other neighboring districts of Chiradzulu, Neno, Mwanza, Balaka, Mangochi and Machinga.

During the launch on Wednesday at Mdeka in Blantyre, Evidence Action’s Board chairperson, Anne Phoya said they aim at installing 15,799 dispensers at rural water points which would enable access to safe water to approximately 2.7 Million people in the eight districts.

“This means that the safe water program will provide safe water access to approximately 15% of the population of Malawi and 35% of the Southern Region.

“The programme started in Zomba in 2013, and as of to date, we have installed 3,799 dispensers at rural water points.

“This dispenser programme, in addition to improving access to safe water for the people in Zomba, has contributed to job creation by employing 27 Malawians.”

Phoya added that realizing the health benefits of safe water and how the programme was supported by the Ministry of Health and Zomba District Council, they continued their efforts of mobilizing resources to expand the program to other districts.

Present was Minister of Health, Khumbize Chiponda, who applauded Evidence Action for complementing government efforts to ensure that Malawians have access to safe water, saying the gesture has come at a right time when the country is battling cholera outbreak.

“We have evidence that the innovation has worked in other districts like Zomba since 2013,” she said. “The initiative will help us to arrest the cholera outbreak in the country.”

The Minister urged community members to take care of the dispensers to ensure continued access to safe water, which will also ensure a disease-free community.