By Tione Andsen
Lilongwe, Mana: WaterAid has said Water and Sanitation (WASH) sector need to be prioritize in the country as it drives development agenda.
WaterAid Head of Policy and Advocacy, Chandiwira Chisi said this Monday at WaterAid Offices in Area 47 in Lilongwe during Media interface with Officials from Ministries of Water and Sanitation and Health.
He said government should make sure that WASH sector was prioritized in its development agenda saying the sector was lacking much needed support from various stakeholders.
“We feel as WaterAid that multi efforts on WASH sector would have a positive impact to a lot of people particularly in the remote areas where access to potable water remains a challenge,” Chisi added.
The Head of Policy noted that the establishment of Ministry of Water and Sanitation was a step forward to ensuring that issues of WASH were given priority.
“We are informed that the Ministry wants to set up Department of Sanitation and Hygiene which will be a great milestone the WASH sector for years,” he pointed out.
Chisi said the Ministry needs to improve budgetary allocation to the wash sector saying there was much to be done in order to provide better services to the communities.
He noted that some health facilities were facing a lot of challenges in sustaining sanitation and hygiene owing to unavailability of reliable water sources.
“We believe that Health facilities are there to provide support to communities and not to be bleeding places for water borne diseases just because they are failing to handle sanitation and hygiene issues due to lack of water.
Chisi urged the media to engage officials from the two Ministries in a fruitful dialogue which would provide an insight on what was happening on the ground.
Deputy Director for Reproductive Health in the Ministry of Health, Allone Ganizani admitted that some health facilities are operating with poor water and sanitation facilities which make service delivery to be compromised.
He said the coming of partners like WaterAid to help those health facilities compliments government efforts of making sure that issues of water and sanitation are given a priority at all cost in the health sector.