Enhancing sustainable sanitation through capacity building and rural sanitation marketing in Malawi

Victor Kasulo, Mzuzu University
Rochelle Holm, University of Louisville
Mavuto Tembo, Mzuzu University
Wales Singini, Mzuzu University
Joshua Mchenga, Mzuzu University


The Sustainable Development Goals on water and sanitation offer an opportunity for Malawi to examine new approaches to improving and sustaining rural household sanitation coverage by the year 2030. This paper assessed the impact of training rural pit latrine masons as sanitation entrepreneurs and the role of sanitation marketing. The paper used a tracer study of 76 masons from 15 districts in Malawi trained by Mzuzu University under a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Malawi programme promoting the corbelled pit latrine design. The results from the study showed that pit latrines were being built by some masons, but that not all programme trainees had used their new knowledge. Masons were part-time and informal providers. Our results indicate a need to scale-up and train more pit latrine masons and the necessity to enhance the sanitation marketing programme component of the training. The registration of masons as sanitation providers, the identification of novel financing mechanisms appropriate for the masons and improved collaboration are also recommended.