Improving Sanitation in Malawi

Digging the Chilinkholi Pit Latrine

In December, Orant’s Water & Sanitation Program finished constructing an improved pit latrine for girls in Central Malawi. Next week, we’ll start the construction of a boy’s latrine. Both latrines are located at Chilinkholi Junior School. 

About the School

Chilinkholi Junior School has 3 teachers and 297 learners. 147 students are boys and 150 are girls. The school covers Standard 1 to 4. This Standard is equivalent to the US’ version of middle school. 

Chilinkholi’s old latrine was shabby. It had only one stall and an unstable floor. Due to a poor roof, students couldn’t use the latrine during rainy season. Worse, the latrine had no doors. Therefore, it had no privacy. When there’s no privacy, girl students often stay home during their menstrual cycles. They then get behind in their studies.

The improved latrine has four stalls. Each stall has a closing door that locks. Consequently, students and teachers have privacy. Below the ground, the latrine’s structure is lined with concrete. This makes mechanical desludging easy. Above the ground, the structure is made of brick and concrete. To improve the design further, Orant installed a ventilation pipe. This pipe traps flies and ventilates odors. We predict school attendance and hygiene will improve.

Community Involvement 

The community generously contributed bricks, sand, and quarry for construction. We are grateful for their enthusiasm. It makes improving sanitation in Malawi possible. 


Students are responsible for cleaning the latrine regularly. This is a norm in all Malawian government schools. 

Small Steps to Stability 

The Chilinkholi latrine project approaches community development holistically. By upgrading Water & Sanitation in Malawi, we also:

  • improve public health
  • support teachers and students
  • further Education initiatives

Education, Water & Sanitation, and Healthcare are all connected. By tending to each area, we disrupt the cycle of poverty. Ultimately, we build local stability. 

The Orant Journal