As the World marks the 11th Open defecation free programme day latest reports in Baringo county indicates that only 28 percent of households in the region have pit latrines.
Statistics show that only 738 out of the 2,626 households targeted by the open defecation free programme in the country have meet the requirements reflecting only 28% of the targeted residents.
This was revealed during the celebrations held in Ilchamus ward in Baringo South Sub County which brought together residents of Sintaan, Ildaripol and Leswaa villages. The programme is aimed at reducing waterborne diseases through use of latrines.
The revelation was made by the County Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Coordinator Isaac Cheserek who noted that the Department of Health Services was committed to end open defecation by 2025.
“Lack of pit latrines has led to residents disposing human waste in open areas which ends up in water sources causing contamination giving rise to these diseases and I would like to urge residents to avoid open defecation. However, we have achieved 28.1 percent and we hope to be declared open defecation free by 2025,” Cheserek said.
He urged the residents to maintain hygiene by avoiding open defecation through using latrines, washing hands in running water and drinking safe water to avoid water borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery among others.
The County Public Health Officer Samuel Ruto said the county government endeavored to ensure access to safe water and sanitation by residents that will improve healthy living hence reduce the rate of waterborne diseases adding that partnerships aiming to better the lives of the people was welcomed.
Area chief Simeon Risoi lauded efforts of the county government and the various partners noting that the programme had helped educate the locals on the importance of using latrines and also impacted livelihoods.
During the ceremony that was attended by partners who included Kenya Red Cross, Ethiopia Red Cross and the Australian Development Cooperation (ADC), champions of the initiative were awarded certificates of appreciation and encouraged to continue impacting lives with the noble initiative.
By Caroline Cherono