Zambia among least hygienic African countries

Poor sanitation

THE UNICEF/World Health Organisation joint monitoring programme 2012 report has revealed that Zambia is one of the countries in Africa with the least access to sanitation and hygiene services.
The report has also estimated that five million Zambians live without access to clean water and that 6.7 million people lack access to improved sanitation of whom around 2.3 million practise open defecation.
The report has also indicated that the lack of access to improved sanitation services contributes to a high prevalence of diarrheal diseases.
The report has further revealed that poor sanitary health practices impact on nutrition and low quality learning environments for millions of children in the rural areas of the country.
It says this has resulted in high absenteeism and has increased school drop-out rates, especially for girls.
The report also says more than 24 percent of basic schools have no access to sanitation and safe drinking water.
The report has since recommended that Government takes pragmatic steps aimed at improving sanitation and providing safe drinking water to all communities.
It says this will contribute effectively to achieving the Millennium Development Goals on sanitation in rural areas and improve the quality of learning environments for children.
The report has also called on Government to promote communitywide sensitisation and stop all open defecation by ensuring households construct and use hygienic toilets.