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Migori County erects a public toilet to curb communicable diseases

Migori County Government in partnership with local stakeholders has erected a public toilet at Osiri Matanda- Nyatike Sub County in a measure to curb communicable diseases in the area.

According to the Sub-County Public Health Officer Dancun Arunda, the area recorded 47 cholera cases outbreak this year and claimed three lives making it one of the worst-hit areas in the county.

Arunda said that the facility will be multipurpose, serving both as a public toilet as well as a public sanitary facility to help the female users dispose of their sanitary towels.

He emphasised that the facility will be made possible by availing sanitary pits around the facility to enable women and girls to easily dispose of their used pads without shame.

Osiri Matanda which is an artisanal mining site hosts over 2,000 residents including those working in the quarry, making it the largest artisanal mining site in Migori County.

Arunda noted that the area poses a high risk in case of an outbreak affirming that the county will continue to build more health facilities to help the local residents.

With most of the residents living there temporarily due to the mining activities, they have found it hard to construct toilets due to the rocky nature of the place, a major cause of open defecation for most of the residents.

“With the low toilet coverage in this area, most of those working in the quarry or doing business opt for an open defecation system of waste disposal,” Arunda said.

Arunda however, acknowledged that the county had made tremendous efforts in making the county an Open Defecation Free Zone

He added that the County will continue to construct public toilets in open-air markets and residential places to prevent cholera outbreaks and other opportunistic diseases.

According to Tom Odhong’, the County Director for Public Health and Sanitation, the department has made several interventions including ensuring that landlords put up toilets before operationalizing the rentals.

He added that with the interventions in place, Migori County now has 97 percent toilet coverage in 2023, showing a great improvement from 46 percent in 2014.

Migori now ranks seventh nationally in terms of toilet cover, an achievement that Odhong’ attributes to the continued coordination with development stakeholders.

To ensure that the efforts to end open defecation in the area succeed, Odhong’ said that the department has distributed hand washing facilities in the residential areas.

By Geoffrey Makokha

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