Efforts cross village lines
Water, sanitation and hygiene-related diseases are one of the greatest challenges to health in Nkhotakota district, Malawi. The loss of working days due to sickness, the cost of medicine and untimely deaths can place both an emotional and
an economic burden on the the family.
Before CPAR’s Global Sanitation Fund project took off in Chilowa village, if you asked Daniel Nyaluwanga about the state of sanitation and hygiene in his village, he would simply shake his head. Only a third of the households in his village had latrines. Ask him today and Daniel will tell you that his village has been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). All 63 households now have a latrine with a drop-hole cover and a hand-washing facility nearby.
Daniel is a natural leader in his community. After being introduced to the project, he and his team worked tirelessly going from house-to-house to share information about the importance of good hygiene practices and to encourage their neighbours to build latrines. They followed-up to monitor the progress and often helped with the construction work.
“Success did not come the easy way. At first it was very difficult to get people on board. We had some people in the village who were very reluctant to construct latrines. The link between latrine use and improved health was not immediately evident, but over time community members started to see the benefits and began making changes,” Daniel shared.
Once all the households in his village had latrines, Daniel did not stop there. Daniel expanded his work to nearby villages.
“I was very happy that we had finally achieved what we were fighting for but I knew the battle was not over. Our neighbouring villages were still practicing open defecation. We told ourselves that if we are to stay safe from diseases like cholera, the surrounding villages had to be safe as well.”
As a result of Daniel’s unwavering efforts and his passion for volunteer work, every household in the two neighbouring villages had built a latrine by the end of 2013.
The Global Sanitation Fund project has the goal to reach 113,618 people with improved hygiene
and sanitation – Daniel’s efforts have helped many households take a first and important step up the sanitation ladder.
This project is possible thanks to the support of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative
Council (Global Social Justice Fund) and our donors.