State steps up sanitation drive

GOVERNMENT is committed to ensuring that all chiefdoms in Zambia attain open defecation free (ODF) status, Central Province Minister Daniel Chisopa has said.
Mr Chisopa said this in a speech read on his behalf by Central Province permanent secretary Ronald Sinyangwe during Kabamba chiefdom’s celebration of ODF status.
ODF status is achieved when a community, through behavioural change constructs toilets and stops using the bush to answer the call of nature.
Mr Chisopa said it is for this reason that Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and other line ministries such as Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs is rolling out `The Community led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme’ to all chiefdoms of Zambia.
CLTS is an innovative, participatory methodology for mobilising communities to completely eliminate open defecation.
Kabamba chiefdom has become the first chiefdom in Central Province to achieve ODF status.
“This is a great milestone to ensuring that our people have dignity in terms of accessing sanitation within their households,” he said.
He said through CLTS, it is targeted that by the end of 2015, 3 million new users consistently using an improved sanitation facility with hand washing facilities in all rural districts will be attained.
Mr Chisopa thanked UNICEF that has partnered with Government in providing safe drinking water and adequate sanitation to rural communities in Zambia.
He commended Chief Kabamba for attaining ODF status.
And Chief Kabamba said CLTS was introduced in his chiefdom in 2013 and it has taken him a year and six months to educate his subjects on sanitation.
Chief Kabamba said it was a daunting task to change people’s mind sets to construct toilets.
The traditional leader said attaining ODF status meant he had to move from one village to another sensitising his subjects on sanitation matters.
Chief Kabamba said he had to be tough, sometimes retrieving village certificates from subjects who were hesitant to construct toilets.
He said construction of latrines and hand washing facilities will reduce diarrhoeal related illnesses in the chiefdom.

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