NGO calls for disability friendly toilets

As Malawi joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Toilet Day on Tuesday, Rural Development Partners (RDP) reminded stakeholders not to leave behind the elderly and persons with disabilities on sanitation and hygiene.

Speaking at Luhomero in Mzimba, RDP executive director Daniel Nyirenda said most sanitation approaches in the country exclude some vulnerable communities such as the elderly, the chronically ill and those with

physical disabilities.

The project’s beneficiaries work on a toilet

“Most sanitation approaches lobby people against open defaecation. But most of the toilets that are built are not friendly to the elderly or people with physical disabilities.

“So, they are left out in sanitation and hygiene issues,” he said.

Nyirenda said his organisation has rolled out a project to reach out to this community by constructing toilets with a pedestal (facilities that allow one to sit).

He said the project is targetting to build 10 such toilets this year.

Love a Village founder Julie Seath said her organisation, based in Canada, is responsible for mobilising funds for such activities.

“Our goal is to uplift people out of extreme poverty to become independent and self-reliant. We hope to achieve this through a partnership that we have with RDP where we are supporting communities with various programmes, including initiatives in agriculture and food security,” she said.

Group village head Thawe said sanitation and hygiene issues remain a challenge in his area due to lack of awareness.

The 2018 Malawi Population and Housing Census  says seven percent of the population do not have toilets. 

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