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Malawi, 5 February 2015: Advocating for clean water for flood survivors



5 February 2015, Malawi – A large group of women, children and men, huddle excitedly inside an open stone-walled structure within Gostinho village, Chikwawa. The facilitator for GOAL, Malawi, Lefani Mandala, holds up a series of flash cards, displaying cartoon-like images of a woman washing hands, followed by another less appealing card of a young child defecating near a bucket of water. The session is highly interactive and energy levels are high as the facilitator literally tests the crowd with questions about water and sanitation. When they get the right answer, the crowd bursts into song. This not the first time this village has held a WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) session. For the next few weeks, GOAL will be here almost on a daily basis to ensure that this community remains free of water-borne diseases.

After the severe floods hit Malawi, in early January, thousands of people were forced to leave their homes and move to higher ground. Eventually, these displaced people found safety within camps. As the camps fill up, waterlogging, basic sanitation and hygiene have become an issue of major concern. These camps, are potentially a breeding ground for diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria and even cholera, of which children are particularly vulnerable.

© UNICEF Malawi/2015
Water sanitation and hygiene have become a major concern in the camps for people who are displaced by the floods that hit Malawi early January. In Tizola Camp, Chikwawa District, the European Union supported the construction of a large solar water pump.

To improve the sanitation conditions in these camps, UNICEF received support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the European Union (EU) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contribution amounts to US$1, 850,000.00. So far, a total of 27,131 have received sanitation services and 23,941 have been provided with safe drinking water.

In addition, our partner Water Missions International, has provided 8,405 affected people with safe drinking water, using the innovation of large solar water pump in T/A Lundu, in Chikwawa. The pump works on solar energy during the day, and consists of a tank to stock the water by night. This way the communities are always assured access to safe water.Apart from information messages, our partners, GOAL Malawi, Water Missions International, Concern Universal, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Population Services International (PSI) and Concern Universal, are working tirelessly to provide latrines and safe water in the camps.

Our partner GOAL Malawi is constructing latrines at lightning speed. UNICEF has funded GOAL to construct a total of 500 latrines. In the next week the organization will start the next phase of WASH, which is to provide showers and hand-washing stations for 25 designated UNICEF camps.

 

 
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