WES Network has expressed worry over the Malawi government’s attitude towards responding to COVID-19. Speaking during a press briefing conference the National Coordinator for the network, Willies Mwandira said that the manner at which Malawi is handling the pandemic as a country we might one day wake up to tragic and numerous deaths due to the pandemic.
Evidenced by the amount of funds (1% of the national budget) being allocated to the WASH sector which is the more concerned sector in as far as fighting the pandemic is concerned, the government is putting little attention to the sector. Citing more examples, Mwandira said lack of urgency to repair boreholes to enhance water accessibility , availability of Health Care Facilities to protect front-line workers from contracting the pandemic and lack of urgency to fund the WASH sector despite several requests are some of the factors that will perpetuate further and rampant spread of the virus in Malawi.
Applauding what other entities are doing, Mwandira applauded the Blantyre Water Board for reducing water connection fee from MK50000 to MK15000, a promotion expiring June. He has however, appealed for more and long term solutions to all concerned entities especially the government being the head.
Among others; Mwandira recommended the Malawi government to immediately increase allocation of funds from 1% to 5% in the national budget, support district-level Water, Sanitation and Hygiene plans on COVID-19 preparedness and response through disbursement of funds to districts to enable intensification of preventive activities such as water quality monitoring, testing, & chlorination and ensure full involvement of WASH CSOs in the government implementation and coordination of the COVID-19 national response plan at the department of disaster management affairs (DODMA).