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Water and Sanitation Minister Abida Mia has asked water and sanitation experts to provide accurate and honest information on water access rates in the country.
Mia said the cholera outbreak has exposed gaps in the management of water issues in the country.
“We need to determine the exact rates of water coverage, not only water but sanitation, too. For instance, in Lilongwe, people are drawing water from shallow wells close to toilets. We need to have a true picture of what is in the ground so that we can act better,” she said.
Mia said this in Mponela at an orientation meeting for all regional and district water and sanitation officers under the World Bank-funded Malawi Resilience Disasters Risk Management Project (MRDRMP).
MRDRMP Coordinator Peter Kadewere said the assembly of district officers will help stakeholders understand how best to manage water issues, which is crucial in combating the cholera outbreak.
“We need to brainstorm on possible solutions and gaps that are there to improve access to clean water,” he said.
Mangochi District Wash Officer Kondwani Andreah said about 85 percent of people in the district have access to improved water sources.
“However, we continue to register cases of cholera,” he said.
Public Health Institute of Malawi epidemiologist Wiseman Chimwaza said efforts are being made to improve the water and sanitation situation.
Chimwaza said the cholera outbreak is mostly among people aged between 20 and 39 years. As of Sunday, the country had registered 38,566 cases of cholera, with 1,254 deaths.