Maun — Botswana has been commended for making sanitation planning and services a priority.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Southern Africa Mission Director, Mr John Groarke made the observation during World Toilet Day commemoration in Maun on December 2.
Mr Groarke said, by commemorating the day, Botswana was showing its commitment in making sanitation a priority.
He said it was evident that rural areas in the Sub-Saharan Africa, including Botswana, still had challenges of sanitation services as compared to urban areas.
Therefore, he said harnessing innovation would come handy in addressing some sanitation challenges in both rural and urban areas in provision of household toilet products and services.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Ms Bonolo Khumotaka, said her ministry was doing its best to improve sanitation services in the country.
Ms Khumotaka said 77 per cent of Batswana had accesses to basic sanitation coverage in urban areas while 33 per cent of the population in rural areas lagged behind and practiced open defecation.
Nonetheless, Ms Khumotaka said government was committed to improving sanitation infrastructure in major villages to address challenges of poor sanitation.
She noted that Maun Phase II Water and Sanitation Infrastructure project and other sanitation projects in other major villages such as Molepolole would help the country attain elimination of open defecation by 2030.
According to Ms Khumotaka, a fully-fledged sanitation services division within Department of Water and Sanitation Services was being set up. The division, she said, would be responsible for sanitation, wastewater planning, wastewater management, bio-solids management as well as resource recovery and monitoring & evaluation of performance of sanitation schemes.
Source : BOPA