Grant for better access to save drinking water, hygiene and sanitation in Kasungu, Malawi 2012 (Red Cross)

This project was supported by the Government of Flanders via a contribution to the Studio Brussel action "Music for Life" 2011. The theme was diarrhoea. Together with lung infections, this is the main cause of death in children aged under five.

Duration and budget

The project will run for three years. A total amount of 300,000 euros was earmarked. The project started in July 2012.

Problem definition

Everyone has the right of access to safe drinking water. However, in Malawi only 74% of the population has this access. Moreover, there are huge regional differences within the country. In addition, water pumps are badly maintained so they  frequently break down. Too little attention is paid to awareness-raising, as a result of which hygiene practices are insufficiently taught.

Due to poor hygiene and unsafe drinking water, many people in Malawi are exposed to diarrhoea and malaria. In Kasungu, diarrhoea, malaria, respiratory problems and malnutrition are among the main causes of death, although these diseases can be easily prevented. 61% of the people in Kasungu have access to safe drinking water, but barely 33% of the 276 regions in the district achieve the national standard of 1 well per 250 inhabitants.

Practical implementation

Since 2010, the Belgian Red Cross - Flanders has been implementing, with the support of Flanders, a basic health project in the Wimbe and Kapelula areas in the Kasungu district to improve the general health situation. Although this project to some extent paid attention to the access to drinkable water, its focus lay elsewhere. This contribution is a useful supplement to this.

The Music for Life contribution is intended to reach new communities in the same district and in the same areas. Additional attention will be devoted to access to safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation for vulnerable target groups, such as orphans, HIV-infected people and midwives. Even the volunteers who were already reached through the basic health project will be able to follow training.

Partner

Belgian Red Cross - Flanders