Lack of clean water produces many health hazards such as the spread of diarrhoea and other infectious diseases. Many communities in Malawi lack access to clean water due to long distances to boreholes.
It was water sanitation challenge in Sicho Village that forced M’bachundu Radio Listening Club (RLC) in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Chakhaza in Dowa district to act and sensitize the communities to act since mid-2019 to date. So far, the RLC mobilized the members to build a fence around the borehole in the village as well as cementing its surrounding to avoid mud.
Chairman for the RLC Andrew Kanjiwa explained that they saw it wise to sensitize people on the need to drink clean water and also protect their water sources from impurities as they compromise the quality.
‘Many people thought that drawing water from borehole ends there but the hygiene around the borehole is paramount as well. On this borehole, pigs and other livestock used to play here thereby leaving muds and dungs spread all over. This was unsafe for the community members and it also created a bleeding place for mosquitos since there was no clean drainage system available.
Owen Kachikopa, Health Surveillance Assistant (HSA) for M’bachundu, took advantage of the good relationship that the RLC together with the Chiefs share with the community members to advocate for use of chlorine and it is applied to the water right at the borehole to ensure that everyone is using treated water.
When there is no supply of Chlorine or water guard at the Health Center in the village, Chief Sicho and community members contribute money to procure water treatment chemicals for their own good with the help of the HSA.
Group Village Head Sicho said that the club helped them realize the importance of safeguarding their water source since boreholes are scarce in the area.
“This is the only borehole around and it is used by many households, so we take care of it now to avoid diseases. Gladly we have also embraced use of chlorine to kill germs and now cases of diarrhoea have gone down.” Said Chief Sicho.
Story By: Ethel Sakala (HC4L Project Officer)