New Era (Windhoek)

24 August 2012

Namibia: Thousands Without Basic Sanitation

More than half of the residents of the Kavango Region still do not have access to adequate sanitation.

The number of people in need of sanitation is estimated to be 196 856 out of a total population of 223 700. This was revealed early this week by the Namibian Red Cross Society's Kavango Regional Chairperson Gerson Gorasab, at the launch of the Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion Project at Mavanze village, some 15 kilometres south of Rundu.

"Namibia is a country with high water scarcity. This project will run for four years and it will operate in those parts of the country where water is most scarce and the people are most vulnerable," he said.

Gorasab said the project aims to deliver promotion hygiene and education to 300 groups, and build 300 latrines and 50 hand-dug wells. About 50 water point committees will also be established.

"The success of this water and sanitation project will depend on the participation of the community. Over the next three years, in addition to extending our activities in the Kavango Region, we will expand our work to fill gaps in the Kunene Region and scale up ongoing activities in the Ohangwena Region," he said.

World Health Organization (WHO) reports indicate that there are 2.6 billion people worldwide who still do not use improved sanitation and 800 million people who still lack access to improved water supply.

As a result, two million people die annually, mostly children under five.

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