President Peter Mutharika has proposed to the newly launched Gertrude Mutharika Beautify Malawi (Beam) Trust to propose a day when people in the country will join hands and clean their surroundings.
Speaking during the launch of the trust on Saturday night at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, the President bemoaned the water and sanitation challenges.
Said the President: “When I accompanied the First Lady on a cleaning exercise in Phwetekere, Area 36 and Mtaya [dumping site], what we saw was pathetic. The sad thing is that costs of poor sanitation are inequitably distributed with the highest economic burden falling disproportionately on the poorest.
“Approximately, 8 800 Malawians, including 4 500 children under the age of five, die each year from diarrhoea alone—nearly 90 percent of which is directly attributed to poor water, sanitation and hygiene.
“I would like to propose to you and your board madame First Lady that you identify a day to be called ‘National Beautify Malawi Day’ whereby all of us from Nsanje to Chitipa, from Nkhotakota to Mchinji would volunteer to clean Malawi.”
Patron and chairperson of the trust, Gertrude Mutharika said Malawians are living in filth and time has come to change that.
Said the First Lady: “I am greatly concerned about the sorry state of sanitation in the midst of our local communities, both rural and urban. Poor hygiene practices, wanton littering, hazardous waste disposal and lack of recycling of waste leave our communities dirty and exposed to preventable health hazards.”
She called on Malawians to join hands with Beam in mobilising communities towards good hygiene practices and sustainable waste management.
Specifically, the trust will be implementing a number of projects, among them clean streets, villages, schools, hospitals; recycling and collection and disposal of waste.
The launch that doubled as a fund-raising event as well raised about K55 million, with K11.5 million, about 21 percent, coming from businessperson Mike Mlombwa of Countrywide Car Hire who made the highest bid of the night and sat at the high table with the First Couple.