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Malawi’s gold plated pit latrine

By Everson Luhanga

Malawi has spent US$17,000 (20 million Kwacha) to construct a small pit latrine at an under-five clinic in the country’s third largest city of Mzuzu.

A small toilet at the Lupaso under-five clinic in Mzuzu, constructed using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), has two rooms, one for males and the other for females, but has no windows.

Local media outlet Times reports that a bill of quantity (BOQ) for the toilet shows that the structure was built using an amount in excess of K20 million.

“On the BOQ, the toilet is labelled VIP and was allocated 226 bags of cement, 11 steel door frames, 35 corrugated iron sheets (18 ft) among others,” Times reported.

However, the toilet as constructed has five iron sheets supported by seven planks.

Newton Chione, secretary for the Lupaso Ward Development Committee, said that their total budget was estimated at around K2.4 million. He added that they were never given the plan for the toilet.

Commenting on the issue, Mzuzu City Council spokesperson McDonald Gondwe admitted that the BOQ is unrealistic but he blamed the communities, saying they are responsible because the CDF gives them the power to get quotations for goods and services.