Evidence Action Chlorinate Neno Water Points

Villagers enjoying treated water Villagers enjoying treated water - pic by Steve Kalungwe
Barely two days after Neno district was declared a cholera free zone, Evidence Action has embarked on a chlorination exercise where it it targeting 600 water points with chlorine dispensers.
The dispensers which are being mounted to the right hand side of any water point is a plastic container of hope and assurance of safe water.
Speaking to Zodiak Online on Friday, Evidence Action Associate Program Manager David Matabwa said their aim is to see people from all the four Traditional Authorities of Neno accessing safe water hence mounting a dispenser at any confirmed drinking water point.
"We received data from the ministry of health that indicated that Neno is one of the districts in the country which experiences high cases of waterborne diseases hence our immediate action," he said.
The Association Program Manager added that their five years project pegged at K500 million is being championed by community volunteers in Neno and Mwanza districts where they are collecting chlorine from a nearest health centre for refill.
He then hailed the district environmental health office saying that " their effort in ending water borne diseases that occasionally hit the district such as Typhoid fever and cholera are being implemented in collaboration with us, the NGO's in the health field".
Receiving the dispensers, Lagina Chemile and Patuma Chewazi all from Donda 1 village in T/A Chekucheku say the dispensers will help combat waterborne diseases that often disrupt their lives in a village of over 1000 households.
Chemile said that for example, she did not understand the concept but after attending a Water Users Education meeting she came to understand the importance of using chlorine treated water.
"At first we were reluctant to use the watery chlorine but now we have understood it all and myths that it affects bed performance is a lie, I encourage all people here to use the method," narrated the woman.
Adding her voice Jessy Banda, an Associate Area Coordinator for Evidence Action said that they engaged all the relevant authorities on the project including the Area Development Committee members, chiefs and the entire council on their project, hence received with warm hands.
She said that " local stakeholders meetings have also helped to sensitize the people on the importance of drinking treated water and this helped the people to start using chlorine treated water".
Earlier, Neno District Environmental Health officer Margret Mikwamba emphasized on the need to work hand in hand with other stakeholders in a bid to completely contain the further spread of cholera and other waterborne induced infections.
" We acted swiftly to this cholera outbreak and we employed a multi sectoral approach which incorporated other non-governmental organisations working in the water sector and Evidence Action is one of them".
Neno District Commissioner Hudson Kuphanga advised people to utilize the dispensers appropriately and never vandalize them.
Cholera in Neno infected 783 people with 10 deaths since April 29, 2022.
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