By Meclina Chirwa
For 8 month running, vandalism has forced Kawinga health center in the area of Traditional Authority Kawinga in Machinga district to operate without clean water.
The facilitys in charge Francis Nthonga has told Timveni that robbers stole a main pipe of the Water Aid Malawi sponsored water tank.
According to Nthonga, there have been delays in fixing a new pipe that the community bought.
The Water, sanitation and hygiene-WASH situation in health care settings is very worrisome.
Without appropriate WASH infrastructure and services, patients, healthcare workers and communities are at increased risk of diseases.
Different levels of healthcare facilities also have different WASH needs.
Facilities that offer only primary care services still require good WASH systems.
For 5 years, Kawinga health center, operated without water.
But that changed in 2019 when through the deliver life project, Water Aid Malawi in partnership with AMREF Health Africa, constructed a solar powered water supply system, inclusive bathrooms and other sanitary facilities.
However, community members were forced back to square one after criminals stole the water plants main pipe.
Nthonga said, the health centre has run without water for 11 months.
He said the community bought replacement pipe which is yet to be fixed.
Kawinga health center has a catchment population of 34,000.
Of the 17 million people living in Malawi, 2.2 million still dont have access to a clean facility and 33% of the population has no access to improved sanitation.
63% of health care facilities do not have adequate latrine, 17% of health care facilities do not have clean water, and 56% of health care facilities have no hygiene facilities.