By MAUREEN ODIWUOR
Public health officials have warned of high risk of diseases in Nyanza Province as a result of residents refusal to use toilets.
The use of latrines in Kisii and Nyamira remain a major challenge. Nyanza Provincial Health Officer Arthur Shikanda said most people have built toilets, but they still defecate in bushes near their homes.
And the Chief Public Health Officer Kepha Ombacho said his department wants the Government to fund Community Led Total Sanitation programmes to empower residents on the need to use latrines and ensures other people comply.
“The Provincial Officer has sent proposal to the ministry headquarters seeking permission to source for partners who will assist in the initiative,” he said. Such an initiative would address behaviour change issues in the two counties before a disaster strikes.
Dr Ombacho said the total countrywide latrine coverage stands at 65 per cent with North Eastern Province, especially Wajir, having the lowest number. He, however, revealed that in the past three years, there was tremendous improvement in reduction of diarrhoea and cholera cases.
“We are working hard to sustain and upscale the improvements so far,” said Ombacho.
Ombacho said sanitation in slums also posed a great challenge since they are inhabited by a large number of people with limited toilet facilities. “We have been working with the council and have requested them to allocate more space for community toilets to accommodate the big populations.
He asked council health officials to address the rampant hawking of food and construction of butcheries that don’t meet health standards.