The United Purpose (UP) says its newly introduced K630 million Dowa Integrated Water Sanitation and Hygiene (DI-Wash) Project will build and sustain the gains made in the past.
UP deputy country director Kate Hartley-Louis made the remarks on Tuesday in Dowa during the launch of the Charity Water-funded project designed to ensure that communities do not slip back to unhygienic tendencies.
“The overall objective of the project is to enhance access to improved water supply, sanitation and hygiene for the people of Dowa.
“It is expected to increase the percentage of villages maintaining open defaecation status from 81 to 100 percent,” she said, adding that they would like to reduce average walking time between homes and water sources from 11 minutes to six minutes.
The project will also provide capacity building through training of community-based management to enhance ownership and sustainability in Wash facilities management and rehabilitation.
Dowa district water officer Timothy Banda commended capacity building component saying many water management committees in the area are dormant.
“We need to guard the existing facilities if we are to achieve universal access to improved water and sanitation,” he said.
Dowa District Council principal registration officer Malla Zimba promised that the council will take care of the facilities under the project.
About 55 000 people from 156 villages and nine schools in traditional authorities (T/As) Dzoole, Chiwele, Mponela and Mkukula will benefit from the project