Stake holders in the public health department yesterday stepped up efforts in a campaign to make Kenya a defecating free zone by 2013. Various health stakeholders from civil society, health departments and international organizations converged at Isiolo hotel to come up with measures to ensure that the target is achieved within the limited time.
National deputy chief public health and sanitation officer John Kariuki said more than six million Kenyans are currently defecating in the open, posing a threat to public health and hygiene. Mr Kariuki revealed that majority of Kenyans especially in the rural areas relieve themselves in the bush, behind lodges and their houses due to lack of toilets facilities in the area."We are concerned about this becuase the situation is getting worse with the increasing cost of medication due to upsurge of poor sanitation related ailments," he said.
The officials said more than Sh 27 billion is spent on treating waterborne and communicable diseases by the government. The programme has been launched in 16 counties as the pilot project and will be rolled out countrywide soon. The communities are empowered through community led total sanitation approach. Not only are they sensitized and educated on health and sanitation issues , but the communiuties are asked to provide their own solutions on proper sewage disposal.