Nkhata Bay District Council has started training front line workers in construction of modern pit latrines to discourage people from open defecation and prevent diseases such as cholera.
Speaking Monday on the sidelines of the training at Mkondowe in the district, Nkhata Bay District Water Development Officer, Alex Mwanjasi Mwakikunga said they are introducing the latrines to participants. The latrines have a top-hole cover and hand washing facility.
"We want every household to stop defecating openly but have a latrine with top-hole cover and a hand washing facility with soap," Mwakikunga said.
"We are training front line workers from Traditional Authority (TA) Boghoyo and Sub TA Mkondowe so that when they go back to their areas they have to be change agents and within two to three months we want to declare the areas open-defecation free," he said.
Out of 13 traditional authorities, Nkhata Bay District has only one area, that's TA Malengamzoma that has attained Open Defecation Free Status on 7th February, 2018.
Dubbed Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), the training has been organised by World Relief Malawi with funding from United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) under Chiyambi Chabwino Project.
He then asked participants to take the training seriously if the district is to achieve its goal of being on the country's sanitation map.
"We have started with hard-to-reach areas which are along the shores of Lake Malawi where many families defecate in the lake and in the bush so that we change their mind-set to start defecating in latrines," Mwakikunga said.
Meanwhile, as the country is fighting cholera since November last year (2017), Nkhata Bay has registered 20 cases out of the country's 827 as of March 21, 2017, according to an update from Ministry of Health and Population.