Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector of Malawi

Publication date: February 1, 2020

Over the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) period (2000–2015) Malawi made good progress on increasing access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. MDG 7c, ‘Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation’ was met in terms of access to water, while there was only ‘moderate progress’ on sanitation. Malawi’s level of access to improved water services is substantially higher than the sub-Saharan African average and that of regional and income-group peers. National averages do, however, mask sharp inequities in service provision. Access to water and sanitation services varies widely between districts and across wealth quintiles.
Malawi has extremely limited fiscal space. Malawi’s poverty incidence is among the worst in sub-Saharan Africa, with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita at just $389 in 2018. GDP grew at 4.0% in 2018 and 5.1% in 2019, and is expected to reach 6% in the medium term. In 2018, inflation was brought down to single digits after many years of double-digit inflation.