Central Malawi Sanitation Scaling UpBack To Projects
This project involves the use of Federation’s revolved funds for sanitation loans to construct ecosan toilets in houses in Lilongwe. To date construction has been completed in one hundred and thirty-four (134) houses. Sanitation loans are open to both Federation and non-Federation members from a revolving fund from other project's loan repayments.Location: Lilongwe, Malawi
The disbursement of new loans to all those who seek to improve sanitation infrastructure within their homes, not just Federation members.Community capacity:
The disbursement of these loans stems from the lessons learnt from the Lilongwe Federation, which is involved in supporting other Federations in the surrounding districts.Scale:
The demand for Ecosan toilets is still very high not just within this district but in other districts as well. This means that there is the potential to initiate this project at a regional level.Impact:
This project has helped improve the Federation's visibility as a whole. This has in turn led to the Alliance being invited to the Water, Environment and Sanitation Network (WESNET), giving them with a platform to lobby for the allocation of resources for slum upgrading. The Alliance has developed relationships with the Housing Ministry and Local Councils through this project.Finance: SDI Contributions:
SDI contributed US$6,418.00.Resources Leveraged:
The alliance has sourced funds from Practical Action (Zambia) for the construction of Ecosan toilets in Mulanje. The funds have helped in scaling up of the project.Market Generated Returns:
None to date.Costs recovered from community:
Thirteen percent (13%) of the total funds disbursed have been recycled in the fund with new loans being issued. The recovered loans are being used on projects which seek to improve sanitation in the central region. The remaining recoverable funds will be used to issue new loans to the Federation where demand is highest particularly for home improvement and sanitation.
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Project information updated: 14 December 2015
Project in depth
Challenges for the project include high inflation and high construction material costs, which reduce the capacity of the revolving fund model.Community capacity:
The project is open to all community members, irrespective of whether or not they are Federation members or not. Each household is required to save and make a down-payment before they can access the loan.
As a sustainability measure, the Mchenga Fund has trained Community Loan Officers throughout Malawi. The Community Loans Officers are facilitating the smooth collection of loans and this will ensure the effectiveness of the fund. Currently, 52% of the total funds disbursed have been recycled in the fund with new loans being issued. The funds will continue to be recycled for the construction of more Ecosan toilets.Scale:
The intention was to implement the project across Lilongwe. However, there is tremendous potential for the project to be scaled across other districts as there is very high demand for household toilets, and Ecosan toilets in particular.Impact:
One of the most significant impacts of this project has been the improved visibility of the Alliance. This led in the Alliance being invited to participate in various fora and consequently, increased their interaction with Government. Interaction with Government was through participation in working groups at the national level through the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MAIWD). The interaction mainly included allocation and approval of the national budget for the coming financial year for water, sanitation, and hygiene promotion.Finance: SDI Contributions:
SDI contributed US$6,418.00Resources Leveraged:
The project was leveraged by the Alliance to secure funds from Practical Action's Zambia office for the construction of Ecosan toilets in Mulanje.Market Generated Returns:
None to date.Costs recovered from community:
In the reduction of the cost of the toilets, the beneficiaries are expected to contribute sand and in some cases bricks which amounts to between ten (10) and twenty (20) percent of the total construction cost of the toilet. This creates a feeling of inclusion and ownership in the project. Community buy-in is imperative for the sustainability of the project. However, the continued weakening of the Malawi Kwacha in 2012 negatively affected the fund, with inflation reaching twenty percent (20%). That being said, thirteen percent (13%) of the total funds disbursed have been recycled in the fund with new loans being issued. The recovered loans are being used for scaling up of sanitation in the central region. The remaining recoverable funds will be used to issue new loans to the Malawi Homeless People's Federation where demand is highest particularly for home improvement and sanitation. To date, forty-six (46%) of the total funds disbursed have been recycled into the fund allowing for new loans to be issued.
Manda, M.A.Z., Nkhoma, S. & Mitlin, D. (2011). Understanding Pro-Poor Housing Finance in Malawi. [Online]. Available: http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/10596IIED.pdf.
Mitlin, D. (2008). Urban Poor Funds: Development by the People for the People. UK: IIED.
Nkhoma, S. & Jameson, S. (2014). The Right to the City: Progress, Prospects and Challenges in Malawi. In H. Moksnes & M. Melin, (Eds.), Claiming the City: Civil Society Mobilisation by the Urban Poor. Uppsala: Uppsala Centre for Sustainable Development. [Online]. Chapter Available: http://www.csduppsala.uu.se/devnet/CivilSociety/Outlookserien/2013,%20ClaimCit/ClaimCity_Nkhoma_Jameson.pdf.