Since 2006 and in partnership with the Dedza and Ntcheu District Councils, Concern Universal has been implementing a five-year safe water, sanitation and hygiene project in the traditional authorities of Chauma and Kaphuka in Dedza, and Champiti and Makwangwala in Ntcheu. This aims to provide 138,000 people with access to safe water and 118,000 people with improved sanitation facilities, as well as support to up to 190,000 people for improved hygiene practices.
In its first four years, the project has yielded significant results: construction of 268 new boreholes, rehabilitation of 188 broken boreholes, protection of 51 shallow wells and springs, construction of 26,539 improved household latrines, and the construction of ventilated, improved latrines in 55 schools. In the final year of the project, 40 boreholes will be constructed, 12 broken boreholes rehabilitated, 42 shallow wells and springs protected, and 3,000 households will construct improved sanitation facilities.
To showcase the results of the project an open day for visitors has been organised from 08:30 to 12:30 hours on Tuesday, 2 November. The Head of the EU Delegation to Malawi, HE Ambassador Alexander Baum, and the DFID Malawi Head of Office, Ms Gwen Hines, will participate in the open day. The event takes place in Mavalavala village and at Lombodzi Primary School in TA Kaphuka in Dedza District. Residents of the area and members of the media will also visit water points and sanitation facilities facilitated by the project and interact with community leaders and members.
Said Ambassador Baum: 'Safe water and high-quality sanitation facilities are essential components to sustain development and for undertaking economically productive activity. Upon its completion in June 2011, this project will have provided some 120,000 people with safe water and improved sanitation facilities. The EU is proud to be part of this project and the excellent cooperation with the Malawi Government, DFID and Concern Universal'.
DFID Head of Office, Gwen Hines, said: 'We know that poor hygiene and unsafe water are two of the top health concerns for Malawians, and diarrhoea the fourth leading cause of child death. DFID is pleased to be able to help Malawians and the Government of Malawi tackle these issues through this project; enabling 120,000 people to lead healthier lives through improved water, sanitation and hygiene practices'.
The project demonstrates the concerted efforts between the European Union (EU), through the EU Delegation to Malawi, the UK, through its Department for International Development (DFID), and Concern Universal, a European NGO. The EU and the UK/DFID co-fund the project to the amount of €3.6 million (approximately MWK730 million).