The Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) has phased out a community-based healthcare initiative credited with improving access to education, water, sanitation and hygiene in nearly 38 000 rural households in Karonga South.
The K350 million ($575,753) intervention winding up in Traditional Authority (T/A) Wasambo was part of a K1.1 billion (about $1.8million) project also ending in Zomba.
In an interview, project manager Gloria Kuyenga saluted the locals for playing a leading role in ensuring the project achieves its desired ends of relieving the hardships they were facing to meet basic health needs.
On Thursday, the humanitarian organisation bade farewell during a meeting with Karonga District Executive Committee (DEC) where they spelled out achievements attained in Mwakhwawa, Chambowo, Mtawali, Malongo,Chimphinga and Mwamutawali.
The inroads include provision of scholarships to 600 orphaned and vulnerable pupils, 300 at secondary level and 30 in vocational skills, especially carpentry and tailoring.
They also earned praises for providing safe water by drilling 24 boreholes and rehabilitating 32–also safeguarding two springs in the hard-to-reach hilltop setting of Vunganthenda and Mwaphoka.
The initiative has also helped eradicate open defecation.
The project statement revealed: “Only 37 in 100 people were using toilets at the onset in 2012, but nearly everyone in 45 of the 48 targetted villages has access to necessary sanitation facilities.
Karonga District council’s director of administration James Tembo thanked Red Cross for putting people at the centre of the intervention and sharing information.
Karonga Diocese Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace(CCJP) partnered MRCS in the project funded by the Danish Red Cross. n