A recent survey that established that up to 98 per cent of households in some parts of Tanzania lack toilets of acceptable quality is representative of the wider picture in the country.
Lack of proper toilets remains a problem both in urban and rural areas due to factors such as poverty, ignorance, a rapidly increasing population and unplanned development.
This partly explains why cholera and other communicable diseases caused by poor sanitation are common in places such as Dar es Salaam. The big question here is: is enough being done to ensure proper and adequate sewage disposal?
We may be in the 21st century, but there are people who still think that it is perfectly in order to relieve themselves in the bush. The survey shows that proper toilets are not very high up on the list of priorities of a vast number of Tanzanians. They are simply not viewed as a necessity.
The education campaign the government has been conducting since the early days of independence needs to be supplemented with the strict enforcement of by-laws on proper sewage disposal. We should get to a point where people are made to understand that not having a proper toilet amounts to breaking the law.