Health experts in Migori County have called for a pragmatic health policy that will phase out pit latrines within urban set ups in the region
For this to happen, they say, the county government must first come up with a well thought out project to lay a working sewerage system to allow all waste matters to go to one point for better management.
A specialist in Sanitation Management, Charles Obonyo said it will also be prudent for the local assembly to come up with by-laws that will compel house owners to convert the existing pit latrines and septic tanks to conventional pour-flush toilets.
“It is high time the county government came up with a project and laws that will see all pit latrines in towns and markets filled up and new conventional waste ablution structures constructed with flushing water and a shower by every house owner,” stressed Obonyo during a one day seminar on sanitation in Awendo town on Monday.
The forum organised to discuss sanitation situation in most urban centres in the area singled out Migori as the most affected town, where raw human waste was said to be flowing unchecked from the numerous latrines dotting the area.
The existing pit latrines within the estates, behind commercial buildings and in private homes were reported to be overflowing and discharging untreated waste into river-Migori.
Obonyo noted that the situation has always exposed town dwellers to high risk of outbreak of diseases related to unhygienic conditions.
“The use of communal pit-latrines should be stopped and proper sanitation facilities provided with adequate quality, even as it emerged that most towns and market centres in the region lacked sewage network and adequate water supply,” he added.
Migori town which boasts a population of over 300,000 mainly depend on pit latrines to collect tons of human wastes that all end up into open environment untreated.
The town dwellers have for many years asked for the laying of a sewerage network to help improve sanitation situation but with no positive results at the moment.
The Lake Victoria South Water Works Development Agency (LVSWWDA) has in the recent past reported that it was looking for funds from the African Development Bank (ADB) to go towards laying a sewerage system within the town.
The organization’s Urban Water Services Manager, Eng. Jeremiah Oteng, recently told the local county development monitoring and verification committee that Migori and Isebania towns had been proposed to benefit from a multi-million project to lay the sewerage network from a trilateral program to be funded by the ADB.
The works will involve a water borne sewerage system consisting of water stabilization ponds, trunk and lateral sewers and associated works, capacity building for stakeholders and county government, operation and maintenance of enhancement equipment,” said Eng. Oteng’ during one of the committees forums.
By George Agimba