Sanitation Revolving Fund exciting communities in Phalombe and Balaka

Implementation of the sanitation business model is progressing well. Sanitation Revolving Fund (SFL) Committees have been set and trained, SRF bank accounts are being opened, Village Savings and Loans Associations have been identified and trained, Sanitation Entrepreneurs have been trained and everything looks set for loan disbursement to begin.

At Traditional Authority Kaduya in Phalombe and TA Amidu in Balaka, the communities are very excited to see the revolving fund schemes in play.

Dennix Gundani, a 34-year-old sanitation entrepreneur from Mateyu Village in TA Kaduya, feels the SRF will give him a meaningful springboard to take his business to greater heights. With about 18 years of experience in construction, Gundani has been constructing improved latrines like falsa-alternas and sky-loos starting. He is an all-round mason who seem to have plans well figured out once the revolving fund at Kaduya becomes operational.

“We stand to benefit more because, apart from having more customers to serve, we will also be able to use economically viable prices since the demand will be high.

“To get more people get services from me, I will advertise myself rigorously. I will use that radio programme which gives an opportunity for vendors to advertise their business so that people know about me and the services I can do for them. I will also use posters which I will post all over the TA,” said Gundani.

Few miles up north at Amidu, the excitement is replicated. Florence Kapire, a 48-year-old VSLA member and an SRF committee vice Chairperson, is originally from Zomba but is now in Balaka for business.

According to Kapire, the sanitation revolving fund scheme has come at a right time. However, she believes that the success of the revolving fund to ensure that many people have improved latrines depends on them [SRF committee members] leading by example first and then ensuring that borrowers do not default loan repayment.

“Our plan is that we should be the first ones to show interest to have improved latrines so that the people should look up to us and be encouraged to also own improved latrines from this scheme.

“Again, in the various VSLAs drafted to participate in the programme, we will have to ensure proper screening to reduce the risk of giving money and fail to recover it,” said Kapire.

This SRFis a component of the Sanitation Business Model (SBM) that was designed to increase the number of people using improved latrines and practicing good hygiene through the provisions of loans for sanitation investments. It involves sanitation marketing to scale up the supply and demand for improved sanitation products and services, as well as sanitation financing to support poor rural households to access improved sanitation facilities through a revolving fund scheme.