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Concern over few number of families owning ablutions

The Public Health Department in Narok County has raised concern over the few families that have dug pit latrines in the area.

The officials who spoke at Olaimutiai Primary School in Narok East Sub-County during the celebrations of Global Hand Washing Day, said only one Sub-County out of the eight Sub-counties had been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).

Narok County Director of Public Health, Edward Tankoi, said they use the village approach to sensitize people on the importance of digging a pit latrine, observing that out of 2,588 villages in the County, only 720 villages had been declared ODF.

“It is only Trans Mara East Sub-County that we have assessed and found out that every family has a pit latrine. No other Sub- County in the entire County can boost of this,” he said.

The event was also attended by Narok East Sub-County Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Joseph Kinyua and various Non-Governmental Organizations that run programmes in the area.

Tankoi said the battle cannot be achieved single handedly, calling on all the stakeholders to tighten their belts in sensitizing the residents the importance of having toilets at their homes.

He reiterated that regular proper hand washing and use of latrines can prevent over 40 percent of diseases, hence ease the economic burden.

“You don’t have to use very expensive materials to build a toilet. Simple local materials like timber and polythene bags can serve the purpose,” said the Public Health Director.

Kinyua threatened to enforce the law if the residents do not follow the laid down regulations to force people to dig pit latrines in their compounds so as to protect the environment.

“We could be forced to move house to house with the chiefs to identify the homes that are still defecating in the open. When we find one, we will arrest the owners who will serve as an example to the community,” he said.

Kinyua recalled visiting a home of a prominent person in the area, but unfortunately the home did not have a toilet and they were forced to use the church latrine that was a distance away.

Naomi Sankai, a local resident, narrated how she personally dug a pit latrine at her home after teachings from the public health officials.

She has now been converted as an ambassador of toilet, as she moves around the village sensitizing the residents the benefits of digging a latrine.

By Ann Salaton

 

 

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