Lilongwe City residents have applauded the Lilongwe Water and Sanitation Project (LWSP) being implemented by the Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) citing it has lessened challenges they were previously facing in accessing clean and safe water.

Speaking when the Water and Environmental Sanitation (Wesnet) team visited Chinsapo, Nanjiri and Chikungu Solar Powered Water Pumping Station to appreciate efforts being made by the LWB, one of the beneficiaries of the project Kazika Chisangwi from Nanjiri said the community can now afford a smile as water borne related diseases have now decreased in the area.

He said: “We used to face a lot of challenges to access clean and safe water in this community. The hand pump which we relied on belongs to a school. This made it hard for women to access water for domestic use in good time and that was a setback to the development of the community.

“With the coming of the project in this area, we now have four kiosks which are solar powered and working throughout the day. Now people are able to get water at low cost at any convenient time.”

Chisangwi added that the kiosk, an e-Madzi kiosk, is digitalised making it easy for people to buy water in advance and access it when they want to through the cards that were provided to them.

The team also appreciated the works being done on the sanitation aspect in Chinsapo were toilets are being constructed at subsidised prices of K75 000 for a double toilet and K50 000 for a single toilet by Fidelis Construction, a contractor within the project.

One of the residents who has paid K75 000 for a double toilet to be constructed in his compound John Mwale said he saw it convenient to have his toilet constructed by the contractor because of the durability aspect.

“It is not cheap to construct toilets that are this durable at the amount we are paying. I took the opportunity and made the payment and now here we are, in few days my household will have a beautiful toilet.

“I have been constructing toilets but they end up collapsing every rainy season and that was putting our lives at risk. With this toilet, I believe it will take time for this compound to construct another toilet as this type can be emptied when full.”

Wesnet Policy and Advocacy Officer Hopeson Chaima commended the water and sanitation project saying with the climate change effects, Malawian cities need water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure that is resilient and sustainable and that the project is doing all that.

With funding from African Institute of Corporation Citizenship (AICC) Wesnet is implementing the Strengthening the Capacity of Civil Society Organisations to Promote Transparency and Accountability in Public Infrastructure Projects in Malawi project.