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Kenya Sanitation Alliance hold fourth summit

The Kenya Sanitation Alliance held its fourth summit in Narok County, aimed at eliminating open defecation in the country by 2025.

The alliance, funded by the Government of Kenya in collaboration with the Government of Japan and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) brought together 15 counties with the highest rates of open defecation.

Speaking to journalists at the Zebu Hotel, where the summit was held, the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) head Adan Mohamed said over 60 per cent of diseases treated in Primary health centers were easily preventable.

“The country should not be using a lot of money to treat diseases that are easily preventable. We should instead put more effort to fight emerging lifestyle diseases that are becoming a threat to humanity,” he observed.

Mohamed reiterated that the coming together of the 15 counties was to mobilize resources, review progress on sanitation and help the country achieve the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water and sanitation, as well as the Kenyan Vision 2030 to provide a clean and secure environment.

“Most of the counties with poor sanitation did not have resources, hence we had to come together to put up policies that would help us mobilize resources to improve sanitation,” he added.

African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) WASH Programme Manager Daniel Kurau observed that safe sanitation is a right to every Kenyan.

He said his organization has allocated Sh150 million to improve sanitation and hygiene in Narok County.

“Some of the areas we want to major on is ensuring that all villages in the county are Open Defecation Free (ODF). We want to move from constructing pit latrines for the community to motivating the people to build for themselves toilets in their respective homes,” he said.

Narok County Executive for Health and Sanitation Anthony Namunguk said the county government would set aside Sh10 million every year to improve on sanitation.

He regretted that over Sh800, 000 is used every year to treat sanitation related diseases, which could be prevented if the residents observed good hygiene and sanitation.

Narok Chief Officer in charge of Water Willy Loigero alleged that ignorance was the key cause of poor sanitation saying the department will put more focus in sensitizing the society on the need to improve sanitation and exercising hygiene.

“Poor sanitation is poor health, poor education and poor livelihood. We do not want to continue spending too much money on diseases that can be easily controlled,” he noted.

The 15 counties under the Kenya Sanitation Alliance are Baringo, Garissa, Homa Bay, Isiolo, Kajiado, Kilifi, Kwale, Mandera, Marsait, Narok, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana, Wajir and West Pokot.

According to the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census, almost 85 per cent of the open defecation in Kenya takes place in the 15 counties.

By Ann Salaton

 

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