Estimates on access to private, improved sanitation in Kenya, including sewerage by World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) 2015, indicate that only 30 per cent (31 per cent of urban and 30 per cent of rural), which is over 21 million people in Kenya, still use unsanitary or shared latrines.
Approximately 18 per cent of rural populations in the country practice open defecation. However, more needs to be done to address the sanitation challenge, especially since a percentage of the population still do not have access to basic toilets and one in seven people worldwide, still practice open defecation.
Ministry of Water, Environment and Natural Resources in conjunction with water sector trust fund led the official commissioning of Makutano Sanitation Block, which will lead to easier access to sanitation services for business men and women in town.
|Makutano sanitation block|
CEC M Jackson Yaralima- Water, Environment and natural resources who commissioned the block on behalf of the Deputy Governor, said that access to clean water and sanitation is a priority to his ministry.
“The matter of having toilets is crucial to creating a strong economy, as well as improving the health of our people,” he said.
He also added that his ministry is already upgrading water services so that all the locals can access clean water.
|CEC Jackson Yaralima officially commissioning the sanitation block|
His Chief Officers Milkah Chelagat and Peter Adoki stressed his sentiments, pointing out that they have embarked on various water projects aimed at availing clean water to everyone in the county of West Pokot.
Adoki however, warned the residents to desist from depleting the environment through constant cutting down of the forest cover or risk getting arrested and charged.
“We are on a dangerous path as a county. People have been cutting trees for years without replacing them. If you look at Kamatira forest, it is in a sorry state. This has to stop.”
Representing Water Sector Trust Fund, Leshorono Stephen-Counties Residence Monitor expressed the need to ensure sustainability of projects.
|Chief Officer Milcah Psiwa addressing the crowd|
“Investing in good toilets, in workplaces and schools, to ensure that women and girls have clean, separate facilities to maintain their dignity, can boost what is often referred to as the ‘girl effect’, which is maximising the involvement of half the population in society.”
He said that Water Sector Trust Fund will continue to partner with the county government in projects aimed at changing people’s way of life.