As the Cholera outbreak continues to ravage the country of Malawi, many organizations including the government are trying tirelessly to averse from the further spread of the disease while treating the symptoms. Cholera is spread by contaminated food or water and can cause acute diarrhea. In the year 2021, Permaculture Paradise Institute in partnership with Opulence Malawi with support from the United Methodist Church of the resurrection initiated a food security project using permaculture as a design science to facilitate the implementation of ecologically sound, safe, and profitable environments for rural communities of Malawi. The project’s main objective and commitment are to make Malawi a role model in embracing sustainable farming practices to improve livelihoods and alleviate poverty while serving as the motivation to initiate participatory practices in promoting sustainable development initiatives among the resource-poor rural community members.
Composting toilets were introduced to help farmers address issues to do with sanitation, lack of enough fertilizer to grow enough food, and access to organic manure among other challenges. Compost toilets are an effective solution to the current escalating Cholera cases in the country. It has been proven that compost toilets can play a greater role in the fight against Cholera since they use no water, instead relying on the natural decomposition of organic matter to break down human waste.
Speaking in an interview, Director for Permaculture Paradise Institute Luwayo Bisiwick says in all areas they are implementing the project, cases of cholera are very low which is a clear indication of how effective compost toilets are in the fight against Cholera.
“This solution can help reduce the spread of cholera, at the same time providing a valuable resource for Malawian farmers,” he said.
According to Bisiwick, currently, 100 compost toilets have been built in Madisi, Dowa District in 2022 alone, and expected to build 200 more this year.
The toilets are clean and since the project was extended to my family there has been a cut down on sickness prevalence in my family,
The lead farmer identified as Agnes Banda has proposed the extension of the project to all the districts across the country.
Banda is optimistic the project will save resources as issues tabled by poor hygiene will be muted resulting in the fast growth of the country’s economy.
The project, which is being implemented in three districts of Mchinji, Zomba, and Dowa benefits over 3400 farmers.
Reaching Thursday, Malawi had recorded 19 141 cases of cholera, with 643 deaths, representing a case fatality rate of 3.36 percent.
The Cholera outbreak began in the southern Region with cases reported in Nsanje and Machinga districts. According to the WHO, the most affected age groups are between 21 and 30 years. The U.N. agency said then there were around 30 countries around the world that had reported outbreaks in 2022, about a third higher than in a typical year.
Reported by Smart Chalika