Mgona community profile
Mgona is a large peri-urban slum north-west of Lilongwe City. The area is subdivided into four – Mgona A, B, C and D and has a total estimated population of 50,000.
The community is heavily overcrowded and with virtually no health and sanitation facilities, the community is exposed to numerous health hazards.
There are currently 7 privately owned pre-schools, which are poorly equipped and run by untrained teachers and caregivers. Of the 6 primary schools, only one is owned by the government and this is the only one with reasonable facilities suitable for learning.
About 35% of the children in the preschools are orphans. The current primary school drop out rate stands at 60%. The main causes of this are death of parents, poverty, early marriage and early pregnancy.
Water and sanitation pose a huge challenge in the community. There are only 2 working boreholes, 9 tap water sources (water paid for) and over 300 shallow wells, from which the majority of the people get their drinking water.
These shallow wells are often contaminated especially during the rainy season with resultant outbreak of water borne diseases such as diarrhea and cholera. There are only a handful of proper toilets available; the majority are shallow and hazardous pit latrines, often a source of infectious diseases. Refuse disposal is non-existent; garbage is piled up all over the community, posing a huge health risk.
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