MORE than 50 per cent of the total households in Nzega district council, Tabora region have no latrines, a trend that exposes them to infectious diseases.
Speaking at a sanitation and hygiene meeting here, the Acting Nzega District Council Health Officer Mr Majile Sayenda said an inspection on Sanitation and hygiene facilities in the area held last year showed that only few people use pit latrines.
According to him, only 44.5 per cent of the total households in the area inspected had latrines while the remaining 50 per cent had no such facility, putting them squarely into total danger of contracting diseases caused by lack of toilets.
Sayenda observed that most of the people living in the area had no latrines because they held misleading beliefs and concepts on latrines. "Some of them considered sharing a toilet with one's mother in law or father in law as a taboo while others were nomads who shifted from one place to another in search of green pasture for their livestock, thereby finding no reason of having a toilet in their households," he said.
Earlier, the Chairperson for Nzega district council Mr Patrick Mbozu called on both WaterAid and SEMA authorities to see into it that sanitation services were sent to the village level where he said many people live.
The one day Sanitation and Hygiene meeting was organized by Sustainable Environment Management Action (SEMA) of Singida and funded by Water Aid of Dar es Salaam. Meanwhile a Non-Governmental Organization in Singida, Sustainable Environment Management Action (SEMA -Singida), has successfully implemented a Sanitation and Hygiene project worth over 95.4m/- in Nzega district, Tabora region between Nov 2011 and Nov this year.
The Manager for SEMA - Singida, Mr Ivo Manyaku, told a huge gathering that attended the inauguration of the Sanitation Centre held at Mwakashanhala village, Puge ward about 60kms away from Nzega town along Nzega-Tabora highway.
Manyaku explained that 20.5m/- was spent on the construction of the Sanitation Centre at Mwakashanhala village while 74.9m/- was used to construct several improved pit latrines at Ugembe- Mbili primary school in the area.
He said SEMA had decided to pick the ward after a research carried out earlier indicated there was an acute and alarming shortage of pit latrines in the area. The Manager said, SEMA had constructed 12 different samples of improved pit latrines at Mwakashanhala village so that people living in the area could visit the centre at their convenient time and be able to choose any sample they desired to build at their homes.
"The cost of the improved pit latrines depends on the style and structure of the samples displayed but certainly their costs are very low," Mr Manyaku assured people who attended the function. Manyaku revealed that the project was jointly being implemented by the Australian Aid, WaterAid, Nzega district council and SEMA-Singida.
"....but to be frank, WaterAid and Australian Aid have contributed a lion's share," he admitted. Officiating at the inauguration of the two events, Nzega District Commissioner (DC) Bituni Msangi called on the general public in the area to fully utilize the Sanitation Centre in transforming their way of living by building the same at their households and further asked them to take care of the latrines at Ugembe-Mbili school.
In a speech read on his behalf by the Nzega District Administrative Secretary (DAS), Mr Herman Matemu, the DC observed that human life and his true civilization was built up by the improvement of his clean environment.
"Dirty environment usually is the cause of various disease contaminations treatment for the same costs a lot of money both to the government and individuals resulting into abject poverty to the community," DC Bituni Msangi noted.
Meanwhile, Nzega District Executive Director (DED) Mr Kyuza Joseph Kitundu has directed the Ugembe- Mbili Head teacher and the surrounding community to regularly refurbish and refurnish the newly constructed improved pit latrines at the school so that they remained new and lived longer.