Govt: More households now have better toilets

HOUSEHOLDS with better toilets have increased from only 19.5 per cent in 2012 to 72.6 per cent, this year, it has been stated.

Similarly, households without toilets at all decreased from 20.5 per cent to 1.4 per cent in the corresponding period.

Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Seif Shakalaghe disclosed the statistics during the celebration to mark National Sanitation Week and World Toilet Day held during the weekend in Dodoma.

Dr Shakalaghe was representing Minister for Health at the event, Ms Ummy Mwalimu.

In addition, Dr Shekhalaghe said the construction of good toilets along with presence of clean and safe water services has increased in various public institutions including primary schools and health care centres.

“Water-borne diseases can be prevented by improving sanitation and hygiene, including construction and proper use of toilets,” he stated.

He added that the past three years saw construction of good latrines and hand washing facilities in about 2,500 primary schools and1, 500 health centres.

According to Dr Shekalaghe, the ministry conducted cross-checks at newly-built bus terminals along the highways in different parts and found out that better washrooms had been built within 280 bus stations in the past five years.

In many parts, where upcountry buses stop for passengers to get health break, better toilets had also been built by private investors.

“Environment cleanliness should be the main agenda, we should teach our children, if this agenda sinks into our hearts, we will not need to use a lot of resources to convince people to build toilets,” he expressed.

On his part, Anyitike Mwakitilima, Assistant Director of EnvironmentalHhealth at the Ministry of Health, noted that the government has allocated more than 104bn/- for the construction of water and sanitation infrastructure in primary schools and health centres.

Mwakitilima noted that presence of clean water, good toilets, and hand washing facilities has been proven to contribute in reducing maternal deaths during childbirth by between 17 and 25 percent.

“A person who does not have a toilet wastes about 58 hours a year looking for a place to dispose of their wastes. This is a lot of time for a country that wants to make economic progress, especially considering that time is money,” he explained.

During the occasion, Dodoma City Mayor Prof Davis Mwamfupe advised the directors of the all cities and town councils to find the best way to help citizens to have access to good toilet services.

Prof Mwamfupe wished to see the toilet services in all cities being offered for free.

“Toilets have become part of income-generating activities but we need to market them so that the less fortunate could serve themselves at better toilets,” he advised.

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