Lack of social services threatening lives at Njalo Island

Phalombe, Over 300 people on Njalo Island live endangered lives following the unavailability of essential social services such as health facility, clean and safe drinking water and education institution on the island, the Malawi News Agency (MANA) has learnt.

Njalo Island is located approximately 100 Kilometers north of Phalombe Boma on Lake Chilwa and has a history of Bilharzia and Cholera outbreaks.

According to Group Village Headman Chimbalanga, whose area encompasses the whole Island, people of the Island who are predominantly fishermen use untreated water from the Lake and when they get sick, it is always a struggle to access medical attention.

From here to the main land, it is 10 kilometers and when one gets sick, they have to first arrange for a boat to come and ferry them across the water, a thing that costs a fortune. It is about 15 kilometers from the Island to Nambazo Health Center which is the nearest health center, explained Chimbalanga.

He added that the lack of boreholes to provide them with safe drinking water also drives the people to use untreated crude water from the Lake for drinking and cooking.

A visit to the Island also revealed that there are no pit latrines and most of the inhabitants defecate in the same Lake from which they fetch water for domestic uses.

Commenting on the situation, Acting Director of Planning and Development (ADPD) for Phalombe District Council Morson Magombo said the problems are beyond the Council’s capabilities hence the need for assistance from development partners.

There is need for an education institution, a health facility and some clean and safe drinking water among some of the most basic services, said Magombo.

He said Phalombe District Council has written a project proposal seeking assistance from Non-Governmental Organizations to save the people of the Island.

Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA