Machinga District Council has approved a four-year District Strategy and Investment Plan (DSIP) to improve water situation and sanitation in the district.
The approval comes amid continued water and poor sanitation challenges despite government and non-government organisations’ interventions to improve the situation in the district.
During the extraordinary council meeting on Saturday, Machinga district water development officer Stevie Meja said currently about 48 percent of people in the district have access to safe drinking water within a 0.5-kilometre radius.
He cited vandalism and low literacy levels as some of the major factors contributing to the low rate.
Meja said they expect to reach 80 percent by the year 2022 if they implement the interventions in the four-year DSIP.
He said: “The new DSIP will see the district reaching schools with 100 percent safe water supply as the situation at the moment is at 98 percent. Out of 24 markets in the district, only 13 have access to safe drinking water and DSIP will address such gaps.
“It is also expected to address water challenges in our health facilities, especially at Kawinga and Mlomba health centres as well as construction of toilets in various social set-ups.”
In his remarks, Paramount Chief Kawinga urged all sectors to work together to ensure that the strategy is implemented.
“It is sad that Machinga experiences water challenges, yet the district is blessed with mountains full of water,” said chief.
The plan is expected to cost about K14 billion and to benefit about 411 000 people.