Throughout 2021, the construction of safe and resilient homes in Zomba and Phalombe, Malawi, continued within Coronavirus restrictions. With funding from the Government of Japan and in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), 200 climate-resilient homes were built to improve the living conditions of communities that have been affected or displaced by floods.
When Covid-19 restrictions eased, the Habitat for Humanity team in Malawi worked alongside communities, families, local volunteers and labourers to ensure that planned construction was completed. In addition to building resilient homes, the project also saw the construction of accessible toilets for community members.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19 many people have re-evaluated the meaning of home. Not only have homes become a place of comfort and relaxation, but they have also become a place to safely isolate from the virus. This is why we have continued to build homes.
Alongside the construction of new homes and toilets, Habitat for Humanity worked with community members to teach people about safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) practices. Helping people to understand the importance of safe hygiene is an effective way to directly lessen the spread of diseases.
From the 1st July 2020 to 31st July 2021, 200 climate-resilient houses were constructed with the addition of safe toilets- also known as Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrines. These districts were chosen because they are highly susceptible to flooding and the people there face ongoing challenges to maintain their houses. In many instances, families homes can be completely destroyed, leaving them with no option but to move out of the area or rebuild.
Of the new homes and toilets that were built, 707 children (below 18 years old) and 52 elderly (aged 60 years and above) people benefitted. A further 86 people with disabilities were also able to benefit from the project with improved accessibility being a key elements of the new houses.
The work in Malawi has also seen the implementation of property rights sessions to help people understand their housing and land rights, Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMPs), and many other educational sessions. With this learning, people within the communities of Zomba and Phalombe can make informed decisions about their homes and finances to build a better future for themselves and others.
We hope that you share our joy in celebrating the achievements in Malawi during 2020-2021. Despite the difficulties of working during the Covid-19 outbreak, a huge impact has been made.
If you are inspired by our work in Malawi and would like to help us continue to support families to live in safe and decent housing around the world, please consider donating today.
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