KARONGA DIOCESE

Communities in Chisankhwa Take Initiative to Construct Colbelt Pit Latrines for the Elderly

Communities in Chisankhwa Take Initiative to Construct Colbelt Pit Latrines for the Elderly

By Leah Nyondo

Communities of James and Ngulumbi villages in Chisankhwa have identified two vulnerable households whom they will assist in constructing a colbelt pit latrine, under the WASH project funded by Cross Catholic Outreach.

Karonga Diocese, through the Development Desk, is promoting the use of colbelt pit latrines because they use locally available resources, hence affordable. Construction does not require the use of wood as it the case with pit latrines being used in the area making them environmental friendly.

During this exercise, communities were asked to provide food for the local artisans (sanitation entrepreneurs), bricks, water and all other unskilled labour. This exercise is being carried out as one way of fulfilling one of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, “love for the poor” and is expected to spread to all areas in the project impact area.

These modern toilets will also serve as demonstration for local communities to see and easily adopt for use in their households.

One of the beneficiaries, an elderly woman named Nambene, said her son used to construct shallow pit latrines which could not last two years. She hailed the initiative since colbelt toilets last a longer time before another one is needed.

“This initiative reminds me of our olden days when communities could come together to assist the elderly and underprivileged members of the society. I used to believe that this community spirit is far gone until today,” she said.

The project, which also has a spiritual component, aims at letting the poor feel the love of God by taking up small initiatives within the community’s capacity for people to feel the love of God through charity works.

Not only is the project providing development work, we must understand the project is under the Church. As much as it ensures people have access to safe and portable water, it is also there to ensure it brings people it serves closer to God.

This initiative will be scaled up to spread to all areas in the project impact area.

                        photo showing the current toilet being used by one of the beneficiaries

                                               The toilet in construction

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