Society / Health & Science
Tuesday, 06 Sep 2016 11:55 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
The Siaya county government has embarked on a major campaign to ensure all homes in the region have clean toilets by June 2017. The county’s department of health has empowered community workers in all the 2,245 villages that make up Siaya to coordinate the operation among community members.
Already, nine villages in the county have been declared open defecation-free (meaning every household has the use of a toilet), according to the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Coordinator for Alego/Usonga sub-county Caroline Odhiambo.
The official presided over celebrations to declare the nine villages in Kagwa sub-location open defecation-free at Pith Dero village in Rarieda sub-county. She said the county will upscale the ongoing Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programmes to ensure all households in the county have latrines.
Ms Odhiambo said Siaya has so far attained 50.3 percent latrine coverage, and that they are getting the support of several organizations including the United Nations’ children agency UNICEF and Medical Assistance Programme (MAP) International.
Speaking at the event, Robert Rapenda, a programme officer from MAP International that has facilitated the attainment of open defecation-free status by the villagers through help in the construction of pit latrines, asked residents to use and maintain the latrines to help prevent infectious diseases.
Also, UNICEF’s data analyst Emma Mwende revealed that only 1,131 villages out of the 2,245 in Siaya are currently open defecation-free. This means that residents still defecate in the open (bushes or farm areas) in at least 1,114 villages.
Ms Mwende challenged the villages that have attained the Open Defecation-Free status to join hands with the rest that are still struggling out, to ensure the entire county is covered by mid next year.