Welcome to the GSF Programme in Malawi

With support from the Global Sanitation Fund, through the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) , the Government of Malawi is implementing a five year (2010-2015) Accelerated Sanitation and Hygiene Practices Programme aimed at improving sanitation in six districts in the country, namely: Rumphi (in the north), Ntchisi and Nkhota-kota (in the centre), and Balaka, Phalombe and Chikhwawa (in the south). The six districts were selected for their high levels of open defecation, low access to improved sanitation and low investment in sanitation and hygiene.

The GSF programme in Malawi is aimed at implementing sanitation and hygiene initiatives that will help the Government of Malawi to attain its vision of ensuring Sanitation for All in the country and its mission of ensuring that all Malawians access improved sanitation facilities, practice safe hygiene and re-use or recycle waste for the sustainable management of the environment and socio-economic development.

The programme will help in reducing Malawi’s open defecation which the JMP 2013 Update (World Health Organisation and Unicef) estimates to stand at 7% in 2011. This reduction in open defecation will be achieved through:

  • triggering 3,600 villages and 274 schools in the six districts using Community Led Total Sanitation and School Led Total Sanitation approaches, respectively, and promoting the adoption of improved sanitation and hygiene practices;
  • conducting sanitation marketing in support of the triggering;
  • developing the capacity of government, civil society organisations and private sector actors in hygiene and sanitation promotion;
  • supporting the planning and implementation of sanitation and hygiene activities at district level;
  • documenting lessons learnt to help improve programming in sanitation and hygiene

In Malawi, the GSF programme is managed by Plan International who were appointed an Executing Agency through a rigorous procurement process. As an Executing Agency, Plan receives programme funds from WSSCC. The funds are in turn disbursed to various sub-grantees who implement the planned work on the ground.

Plan is an independent, non religious and international non-governmental organisation that promotes the rights of children. The organisation’s vision is a world in which all children realise their full potential in societies that respect people’s rights and dignity.

One barrier to the realisation of children’s full potential is poor sanitation and hygiene, leading to sanitation related diseases that in Malawi account for up to 4,500 deaths of under-five children.

Lack of basic sanitation denies children the right to health. Poor health undeniably prevents children from accessing such other rights as education, thereby threatening their potential to become productive citizens. Plan, therefore, considers the promotion of sanitation hygiene as one key for ensuring that children live full lives. It is for this reason that with the Global Sanitation Fund support, Plan Malawi is committed to ensuring that children live in communities that are open defecation free and where a minimum of basic sanitation is provided.

This website supports the GSF programme in Malawi, by, among other things, providing information about work progress in our impact areas, lessons learnt and stories about real people benefiting from different interventions under the programme.


Plan Malawi organized a district meeting in Phalombe to share the Africa San experience in the district to motivate the district staff and also the traditional leaders. GSF Malawi delegation attended the Africa San conference in Darker Senegal where several ministers from the various African nations signed a declaration whose goal is to achieve universal access to sanitation and hygiene services. Following this, Phalombe district has made commitments towards improving the sanitation situation of the district.


The Chikhwawa district has decided to join the rest of the districts where the GSF programme is being implemented to have their district declared ODF by 2015. The development has come after a district conference that was organized by Plan Malawi to share the lessons from the Africa San conference which took place in May 2015 to motivate the districts. Global Sanitation Fund Malawi delegates attended the Africa San conference in Senegal where among others a NGOR declaration was signed by various African minsters to move towards the declaration of Africa ODF by 2030.

TA Mwadzama Clean Water and Improved Sanitation Project

By Rejoice Phiri

It was a great day for the people of Mwadzama under group village headman Bango in Nkhotakota District, when the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) through the Hygiene Village Project launched the Clean Water and Improved Sanitation for schools and Surrounding communities project.This launch titled ‘Safe Water and Sanitation for all’ highlighted that the project aims to ensure clean water and access to improved sanitation through construction of boreholes and toilets in the area with funding from Plan Canada.