Uploaded by Blessings Bwanalih

Resillient toilets

Resillient toilets, healthy lives
by Temwa Mhone - Correspondent
in Health
Zomba Banda of Fayiti Village in Ntcheu District stopped constructing latrines every
year as they collapsed in no time.
“I got tired of doing the same thing every three months,” he says.
However, Banda, 43, was forced to erect a new one in 2019 when his wife and four
children were struck by diarrhoea after a year of defaecating in the bush.
Open defaecation increased their risk of deadly waterborne diseases, including
And his wife, Christina Fayiti, became increasingly worried about the breakdown in
sanitation and hygiene, which fuel over half of the diseases that haunt outpatients in
the country’s health facilities.
“The children and I often fall sick at the same time. My husband usually stopped
doing business to take care of us,” she says
Banda says the family lacked expertise and materials to erect durable toilets.
“Charcoal production has wiped out indigenous trees once used to erect lasting
toilets. With the remaining ones, toilets collapse all year round,” he explains.
To reduce open defaecation, World Vision Malawi trained 15 artisans in construction
of resilient latrines in Banda’s village. The Christian organisation promotes water,
sanitation and hygiene (Wash) in Kapeni Programme Area to create a safer world for
World Vision is popularising resilient toilets christened Mwamuna Apume because
they “let men take a break from constructing toilets every year”.
The latrines are built using baked bricks from the bottom to the covering of the pit.
For over two years now, the Bandas have a toilet standing and in use. Adjacent to
the modern pit latrine is a foot-operated, tippy-tap hand-washing facility for all.
Banda says the toilet has improved sanitation and hygiene in his home where
waterborne diseases were lurking.
“We now enjoy good health, giving me more time to focus on providing the needs of
my family. The diseases that frequently haunted us are gone,” he brags.
And Fayiti finds it easy to keep the home clean and support her husband in providing
for the family.
Luke Yotamu, one of the trained artisans who built Banda’s toilet, says the new
design has reduced open defaecation in the area. Figures show that about 98 in
every 100 homesteads in the area no longer relieve themselves in the open.
“More households now have toilets, so there is no reason to defaecate in the open,”
he says.
About 15 670 households in Kapeni area have access to modern pit latrines with
hand washing facilities and drop-hole covers, reports World Vision.
Group village head Fayiti says the intervention has liberated the rural community to
actively participate in public life, including communal development initiatives.
“Now people spend more time on development and economic activities because of
improved hygiene keeps them healthy,” he says.
Adiel Joshua, a health surveillance assistant in the area, says resilient latrines have
ramped up efforts to curb waterborne diseases.
World Vision Wash development facilitator Gertrude Malefula is excited that the
initiative has created a safe environment for all, including children who are
disproportionately at risk of sanitation-related diseases.
“Apart from giving people safe water points, proper waste disposal and good
hygiene practices are pivotal to enhance their health,” she says.