Addressing healthy settings in Malawi
One of the key components of the SCHI Healthy Settings Approach as been the development of healthy markets. This has been a challenging element over the last 2 years, and has needed continued support from the SCHI team to ensure progress with both the Chikwawa District Council and members of the market committees. Despite the election and training of committees, there was little progress in the development of improved structures and systems in the markets, and so further work was undertaken with committee members in leadership and management training. This coincided with the development of improved sanitation facilities at both Dembo and Mfera markets, and was timed to ensure there would be effective management of the facilities at the time of their completion. The new toilet facilities were designed by a team of experts at the Malawi Polytechnic to ensure they were fit for use, accessible for all, and that they can be emptied, thereby ensuring a longer lifespan for the facilities. These will be managed by the committees in both Mfera and Dembo markets using the same principles as “borehole banking” to ensure long term sustainability, income generation and maintenance.
The opening of the facilities was also celebrated with open days in both markets to raise awareness of the new market standards, and encourage the community to manage their waste and improve hygiene of vendors.
The market chairman (pictured here) outlined hygiene messages and new by-laws for market management including the use of the installed waste bins (above). The SCHI team will now be working with the market committees and trained vendors to maintain hygiene standards and improved management of the markets towards the end of the programme.
Links to all tools developed for healthy markets are available here