NOMSA NKANA, Chienge
CHIENGEâ€™S achievement as Zambiaâ€™s first Open Defecation Free (ODF) district should inspire other regions in the country for similar success, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing Danny Chingimbu has said.
He said this in Chienge at the districtâ€™s celebration of attainment of ODF status.
Open Defecation Free status is achieved when a community, through behavioural change, constructs toilets and stops using the bush to answer the call of nature.
The Luapula Province district has become the first district to achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) status in Zambia and in Southern African region.
It comprises Mununga, Puta and Lambwe Chomba chiefdoms and it becomes the second district in Africa to be officially declared ODF after the declaration of Nambale in Kenya in 2012.
Mr Chingimbu said the districtâ€™s achievement of ODF status is an inspiration because Zambia is setting an agenda in the region that sanitation is one of the most important basic human needs.
â€œAchieving behavioural change is not an easy undertaking, especially over practices such as ODF, which has been practised since time immemorial in most rural societies the world over,â€ he said.
Mr Chingimbu also said Zambia is still among developing countries that have missed the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target for adequate sanitation by 2015.
He said to this effect, Government together with co-operating partners has rolled out sanitation coverage in rural areas targeting a minimum of three million people by the end of 2015 using the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach.
Mr Chingimbu said the fact that access to sanitation in Chienge district has tremendously improved from 12 to 98 percent in less than three years, with 316 villages and 13 wards in the three chiefdoms being certified ODF, is a strong demonstration that CLTS is one of the best approaches known so far for achieving better sanitation results, particularly in rural areas.
Senior Chief Puta, Senior Chief Mununga and Chieftainess Lambwe Chomba said to attain the ODF status, they inspected villages regularly and reprimanded erring households.
In a joint speech read for them by Denison Chishimba, the traditional leaders said CLTS has blended well with their other efforts to improve their chiefdoms.
NOMSA NKANA, Chienge