UNICEF's Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion Programme contributes to national efforts to improve the quality and coverage of services in the country. In 2007, the Government, with UNICEF's support, aimed to provide 80 percent of the population with access to safe water and 70 percent of the population with access to basic sanitation in 12 target districts. UNICEF's assistance to the water and sanitation sector is taking on a more systems-based approach. The aim is to support the Government in developing capacities, policies and systems that will strengthen the sector as a whole. In 2007, UNICEF was involved in helping the government to flesh out a roadmap for a water and environmental sanitation SWAp. The SWAp will bring a coordinated approach to institutional and capacity development, water resources development and management, and sanitation and hygiene promotion. An Operation and Maintenance system was put in place to develop community capacity for the running and upkeep of village water points. Existing systems were assessed and manuals produced to help communities set up the new system. Technical manuals on installation and repair of water points were also developed.
UNICEF helped the Government to devise public communication strategies and related manuals for hygiene education: the Integrated Social Sanitation, Hand Washing and Safe Water Communication Plan; the Hand Washing Guide and booklets for primary schools on hand washing, proper use of latrines and safe handling of water.
The Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) strategy for promoting rural community sanitation is currently being rolled out to communities across the country. First pioneered in Bangladesh in 1999, CLTS is a grassroots approach for mobilising communities to completely eliminate open defecation. It is characterised by community participation in analysis of the problem and construction of latrines.
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Real lives: Water and sanitation
Real lives tells the stories of children in Malawi whose lives have been touched by UNICEF.