WASH Project making a change

Mtislidza, a slum in Lilongwe city is one of the poorest parts of the city. People live in slums characterized of poor water & sanitation facilities, no electricity and poor road network. Over decades, the health of the people dwelling in such parts of Lilongwe has been highly affected due to lack of safe drinking water facilities, sanitation facilities and poor hygiene due to open defecation and lack waste disposal system.

HFH Malawi worked in collaboration with HFH Germany to improve the well-being of adolescent girls and residents living in Mtsiriza through its WASH project. Christina Namutwa, a beneficiary of the project is a single mother and guardian to 10 children. She was identified by the local Health officers and after going through the selection process she was chosen to be among the 37 beneficiaries of the Ecosan latrines that were constructed in Mtsilidza.

In the rainy season her former toilet which she shared with her daughters’ household would get flooded and make it impossible to use the facility because it was at risk of collapsing inside. This led them to resort to either use the neighbor’s latrine or defecate in the open. This resulted in her family especially the young ones getting different diseases and infections most notably diarrhea and skin rash which was a big challenge for her because they skipped school and she had to buy medication from the pharmacy because the clinic nearby was usually out of medicine.

“I want to thank Habitat for building me a toilet, I no longer have to live in shame because I did not have a decent facility. My children no longer get sick because of the risk the old toilet posed on their lives. Not only is the toilet beautiful but I can also harvest manure from it and use it in the field which will remove the burden of buying fertilizer every year.” Said Christina when she was interviewed

The toilets have two chambers so when one is full, the other is used while the full one can be harvested for manure after six months. This means the problem of having to construct a latrine every time it gets full has been eliminated there by preserving land.