Muluzi made the call in Blantyre on Wednesday during the official certification of Traditional Authorities Lundu and Makata as ODF areas.
He said government recognizes the importance of promoting sanitation and hygiene hence the need for collective efforts by all the stakeholders in the health sector.
“Government recognizes that promotion of sanitation and hygiene requires collective efforts from all stakeholders.
“Let me therefore call upon all concerned stakeholders to join government in its efforts to promote sanitation and hygiene interventions in the communities,” appealed the Minister.
He added: “Let me request local, political and religious leaders in the country to support government’s agenda of making Malawi ODF by relaying the message of sanitation and hygiene in the communities so that we prevent the outbreak of sanitation related diseases such as cholera and diarrhea.
While reiterating government’s commitment to improving sanitation and hygiene in the country, Muluzi said Malawi adopted the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in 2008 with an aim of making the country ODF.
He revealed that 25 percent of all deaths and 52 percent of total disease burden in the country are attributed to poor sanitation and hygiene practices.
In his remarks, Hygiene Village Project Executive Director, Roy Khonyongwa hailed subjects of T/As Makata and Lundu for working hard and for being the first to achieve ODF status in Blantyre.
“In less than six months that we have been implementing the project, all the 42,531 households have managed to build modern pit latrine representing 99.8 percent. Let me congratulate Traditional Authorities Makata and Lundu for becoming the first areas to be declared ODF in Blantyre district,” said Khonyongwa.
During the function, Arkay Plastics donated filter containers to the two TAs that would enable them consume safe water.
Traditional Authorities Makata and Lundu have joined seventy-nine other Traditional Authorities in the country that attained the ODF status.