The World Toilet Day, which increases awareness on the people who don’t have access to a toilet was marked Tuesday, despite good sanitation being a human rights’ issue in the world.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Hygiene 2018 report, Kenya has achieved only 51.3 per cent and that means half of the population does not have safely managed sanitation and a number of them excrete in the open.
However, according to the Director of Public Health in Nakuru County, Samwel King’ori they have achieved 87 per cent of toilet access and only one per cent of the population practice open defecation, 45 per cent share toilets, while 356 villages in the county are certified open defecation free.
But despite the impressive figures by the Public Health Officer, the reality on the ground paints a different picture.
A visit by KNA to Kwa Rhonda slums proved the figures wrong as it was evident that in a number of plots, with an average of over fourteen families they were sharing one to two toilets.
At the same time, in one of the plots, the children were openly defecating, with the mothers said they cannot allow their young children to use the dirty and smelly pit latrines since they might get infections. The mothers then pick the faeces with old newspapers and drop them in the toilets.
In another plot, a tenant Tabitha Moraa, said they have not had water in the plot for a long time despite the two shared toilets which required flushing, thus forcing them to use their purchased water.
“It’s difficult to eradicate open defecation in this area because of the perennial shortage of water and our cry to the county is to provide free water in order to end this unhygienic and embarrassing practice,” opined Moraa.
As we walked through the estate it was obvious that almost each and every corner has been turned into a urinal by mainly inebriated men who seemed to enjoy the competition game of who among them could shoot urine higher.
Along walk paths in the town it’s not uncommon to see faeces in the morning hours before they are cleaned by sweepers.
Rose Waithera who sells groceries at the Ukulima Market blamed the open defecation to increased number of street children in the area.
By Veronica Bosibori