By: Phillip Samuko, Monitoring and Evaluating Officer Promise Project
With a population of about 200 people and 30 households, Richard Village, in Traditional Authority Kuntumanje in Malawi, is among the villages that enjoy the presence of the promoting maternal, newborn, infant and child sustainable health efforts (PROMISE) project because of the visible benefits the village has experienced within a short period of time. A project which started April 2016 through Emmanuel International Canada (EIC) and its country affiliate Emmanuel International Malawi (EIM). This project is supported financially by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada.
Chief Richard & Kristy Nowell of EIC Promise Project Coordinator from Canada
“My Village is blessed by having PROMISE project with a dedicated team of health and nutrition facilitators,” Chief Richard says, with a smile on his face. “For many years this village has had problems with having sanitary facilities.”
“This Village,” he says, “has 30 households, but none had handwashing facilities near pit latrines prior to PROMISE. Some households had pit latrines and some temporary ones, prior to PROMISE only 22 of 30 had pit latrines.”
Richard Village is among the villages that had hygiene and sanitation challenges with some households practicing open defecation. Before PROMISE started its interventions in the village, only 73.3 % of households had pit latrines, there were no hand washing facilities and only 10 % of households had refuse pits.
The village was also poor in practicing kitchen gardens with only 6.7 % of households owning kitchen gardens. Only 3.3 % of households had energy saving stoves.
After introducing a hygiene and sanitation module in the village with more sensitization and awareness on proper hygiene and sanitation practices, the targeted groups in the village responded well.
In the two years since the Promise Project has started, households with latrines increased to 96.7%, hand washing facilities increased to 83.3%, kitchen gardens increased to 73.3% and households with energy saving stoves increased to 63.3%.“
Mr. and Mrs. Yonasi of Richard Village pose for a photo with Kristy Nowell EIC Promise Project Manager by a latrine they constructed after being inspired by the PROMISE Project
I am proud today as my Village is now considered a Model Village,” says Chief Richard. “Now we receive visitors who come and appreciate our work and it makes me very happy.”
“To say the truth, no one expected that this village could be crowned as a model village on hygiene and sanitation, as for many years this village has always been behind,” says Mr. Masese, Area Development Chairperson from Traditional Authority Kuntumanje, in concurrence with Chief Richard.
“The coming in of PROMISE has changed the situation completely.”
Masese says the levels of diarrhea and malaria in children have been reduced in Richard Village.
Masese says, “I must say, care group volunteers and nutrition facilitators from PROMISE project have really saved this village from a mark of shame.”
This project has been undertaken with the financial support of Global Affairs Canada, the PROMISE project can continue to increase sanitation and hygiene in communities like Richard Village.