During the global Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) webinar dialogue on eliminating inequalities in Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) response to COVID-19; Director for Water Supply and Sanitation Service from the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Development-Malawi, madam Emma Mbalame who was among the panelist, outlined the various strategies, protocols and institutions that are in place to ensure that no one is left behind in accessing WASH services and facilities in the country.
Citing an example during the COVID-19 pandemic, Madam Mbalame said that through WESNetwork, Campaign for Education, Sanitation and Hygiene (CAHESH), Malawi is translating COVID-19 messages and distributing braille books for visual impairments.
According to CAHESH’S Executive Director, Mc Donald Kaluwa said the initiative has 600 beneficiaries so far but intends to scale up. Being a small and self funded institution, Kaluwa has so far called upon other players to partner with CAHESH in the scale up.
It was with great pride to note that Malawi was the only country that has considered the blind in responding to the pandemic
According to Catarina De Albuquerque who is SWA’s CEO, the pandemic is not a “one size fits all” meaning to say; what is working in another country, may not work in Malawi and therefore Malawi need to put measures that will suit its environment. “For example, do not impose stay home policies on homeless people without protecting them. What we do today lays a foundation for the future” commented Catalina. This has come when Malawi was declared a State of Emergency by the President, Peter Munthalika and later announced a 21 day lock-down.
The English dialogue was attended by over 200 from across the globe.