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Open defecation free takes centre stage in Mtalika village in Malawi

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From the 6th to the 10th August 2012, IDS is convening an international workshop on CLTS Monitoring, Verification, Learning and Information Management in Lilongwe, Malawi. The aim of this specialised workshop is to bring together government and other actors to share learning.
Participants of the workshop are blogging about their learning, insights and reflections on the meeting this week.

Today a team of participants at the international CLTS monitoring and evaluation workshop in Malawi Lilongwe went for a field visit to Mtalika village in Salima District. Mtalika village with 1327 households was triggered in May 2011 and was declared ODF in November 2011.However before the community was declared ODF there were incidences of cholera and diarrhorea, but we were informed by the health centre staff that there has been a reduction in diarrhorea incidences as per their record.

The community of Mtalika welcomed us with songs of praise and expressed how the good sanitation in their community has enabled them to live better lives.

From the field visit it was evident that Mtalika was ODF as all the households we visited had latrines with handwashing facilities and no OD was observed as we moved through the village. The latrines were made out of locally available materials and this was solely done by the community without any subsidy. More interesting to note was the discovery of an innovative handwashing facility that we observed in every household visited. It’s different from the usual tippy tap. The innovative hand washing facility is made out of recycled big bottles which are cut by removing the top part and then refilled with water. It has also got a ladle made out of recycled bottles with holes at the bottom. The ladle is used to scoop the water and afterwards it’s hung on the pole so that the water drips though the holes and the person is able to wash their hands.

Mary Namwebe, Plan Uganda

Date: 8 August 2012