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Malawi, 30 May 2013: The United Kingdom supports a cleaner, healthier environment for a million people in Malawi

© UNICEF Malawi/2012/Asael
Women from the community near Thundwe Primary School, Malawi benefit from safe water supply near the village.

Lilongwe, Malawi. 30 May 2013 - The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has contributed 17 million pounds (approximately 10.75 Billion MK) for a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme in Malawi. The programme aims to reduce under-5 deaths related to diarrhoea and malaria; reduce absenteeism of children,  especially girls, from primary school; reduce the time taken to collect water by women and girls and empower communities to manage and maintain their water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

 The "Malawi Integrated Water Supply, Sanitation, Hygiene Promotion and Capacity Building Programme" will increase access to safe water and sanitation facilities in vulnerable rural communities and help ensure sustainable operation and maintenance of WASH facilities by community members, in partnership with the Ministry of Water Development and Irrigation, District Councils and the private sector.

The grant will be managed by UNICEF Malawi and implemented by 4 NGOs:  Concern Universal, GOAL, DAPP and World Vision.  The activities will be conducted in various Traditional Authorities in 10 districts: Dowa, Kasungu, Neno, Balaka, Ntcheu, Karonga, Nsanje, Chikwawa, Chiradzulu and Thyolo. 

Community members and schools will participate fully in programme planning and implementation to ensure sustainability. The programme will also focus on increasing the role of women and girls in training and decision-making, while support to schools will address the specific water and sanitation needs of children (particularly girls) in schools. District Council capacity to deliver WASH services will also be strengthened through the programme.

© UNICEF Malawi/2012/Asael
Alice Mwale leaves a sanitation facility built by UNICEF in Thundwe Primary School, Malawi. Separate girls and boys toilet blocks encourages girls to stay in school.

In total, it is expected that over half a million people will be served with safe water, a quarter of a million will have access to toilets, and approximately one million people will live in a cleaner and healthier environment.   

”We are conscious that unsafe water and poor hygiene are two of the top concerns of Malawians, and these can lead to preventable death and illness.” said Sarah Sanyahumbi, Head of DFID Malawi. “In response we are delighted to have significantly increased our support to water and sanitation through this programme with UNICEF. In addition to the provision of safe water, this support will work with communities to promote good hygiene. There are many simple practices, such as use of a basic toilet and hand washing, which can dramatically reduce illness and increase quality of life.”

Mahimbo Mdoe, UNICEF Country Representative said: “Unsafe water and poor sanitation are a great threat to a child’s survival here in Malawi, where 4,500 children under five still die from diarrhoeal diseases every year. This assistance from DFID will go a long way to protecting those lives in some of the poorest and hardest to reach areas in the country.”

The assistance will support the Government of Malawi to reach its 2015 Millennium Development Goals for water and sanitation, and increase the proportion of the population living in clean environments.

DFID will spend an average of £93 million per year in Malawi until 2015 to help implement the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS). From April 2012 to March 2013 DFID spent over £115m in Malawi. For more details see:

For further information please write to Andrew Fred Massa, Programme Manager Department for International Development



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