This means that all the households and public institution in the area follow good sanitary habits include having good and healthy toilets which they use.
The celebrations for awarding the area with the ODF status took place at Chombe in the district.
Speaking during the event, SOLDEV Acting Director, Mabvuto Lupwayi expressed gratitude for the development saying it is what the organization has been striving to achieve amid the negative perception people in the area had towards the initiative.
“In 2011 when we first introduced the project, I mean the Global Sanitation Fund Project in the area, most people used a lake or their nearby bush as a toilet, rarely could they even think of constructing a toilet,” noted Lupwayi.
“It was about sanitation and hygiene project and today is about cerebrations that 68 of 69 villages have attained the status, this is a plus to us as an institution that finally we have witnessed that almost the whole area in Traditional Authority Mwalweni has attained the status,” added Lupwayi.
The SOLDEV Acting Director said the development shows a significant contribution in reducing sanitation related diseases in the country which he said the synod hopes to achieve.
He however expressed worry towards some attitudes, and cultures that are hard to change let alone involve other partners like Rumphi District Council and the local leaders themselves for their endless efforts towards this.
Traditional Authourity Mwalweni was short of words following the development while admitting the rough road he went through for him to attain the ODF status.
“We are very grateful for the award although we had a great task and efforts including formulation of bylaws which helped us to penalize any person who failed to abide by the sanitation principles,” said T.A Mwalweni.
In his remarks, a representative of the District Commissioner for Rumphi District, Francis Puleni cautioned the people in the district to devise sustainability measures for the project.
Puleni noted that most cases when the area is registering successes in a certain area, the community forget the initial processes that realized them on the position and starts showing negative indicators.
On development the Council Official reminded people to always observe sanitation practices as it has an impact of development.
“Poor Sanitation practices bring in cholera, typhoid, among other diseases which forbids one to actively participate in development activities; as if that is not enough government spends a lot of resources buying drugs and other measures to contain such diseases instead of diverting the resources to other developmental projects,” worried Puleni.
The development follows another success story from Sub Traditional Authority Chapinduka in the same district which equally enjoys the ODF status.
SOLDEV implements a Global Sanitation Fund Project in Rumphi district which seeks to improve the quality of life of communities by facilitating an increase in improved sanitation coverage and hygiene practices by supporting the development of locally sanitation services, advocacy for increased investment in sanitation and proper hygiene behaviors.
Goal six of the recent adopted Sustainable Development Goals focuses on water and sanitation which among others looks to it that people have portable water, practice good sanitary practices for a healthy living.