UNICEF happy with Zambia’s commitment to improve sanitation

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—–UNICEF Communication for Development specialist for Zambia, Rufus Eshuchi, says the attainment of Open Defecation Free (ODF) programme by three chiefdoms in Zambia is a sign that the country is committed to improving sanitation in the country through programs of Community Lead Total Sanitation (CLTS).

Mr Eshuchi said this in Namwala District where he was on a visit to check District Water Sanitation and Health Education (D-WASHE) programs in Namwala and meet D-WASHE members to plan how best the programs could be successfully implemented.

He said he is happy that some chiefs in Zambia have taken a leading role in trying to promote hygiene by promoting construction of simple latrines in villages.

Mr Eshuchi was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Chief Mukobela whose chiefdom is one of the three Chiefdoms in Zambia and Africa for attaining Open Defecation Free.

Macha, Mapanza and Mukobela are the three chiefdoms that have attained ODF in Zambia and Africa by having highest numbers of latrines at each village household.

And Chief Mukobela of Namwala District says it was a difficult task to try and change the mindset of the people in his chiefdom by telling them to construct latrines at each household.

He said there were a lot of myths surrounding the issue of constructing pit latrines because most people in his chiefdom did not find it necessary to put up latrines because of myths which they believed in.

But Chief Mukobela commended government through Ministry of Local Government and Housing and UNICEF for introducing the program of CLTS.

The traditional leader said he was happy that his subjects have responded well in the program by constructing simple latrines.

Chief Mukobela’s chiefdom has recorded about 111 villages ODF, Mapanza 250 and Macha chiefdom 115 Open Defecation Free (ODF).

And National Coordinator for CLTS Zambia, Leonard Mukosha, said Zambia is privileged to have three chiefdoms to attain ODF and that this is a good indication because the three chiefdoms are also the best in Africa.

Mr Mukosha added that Section 18 of the village development Act Cap 287 empowers chiefs to encourage their subjects to have good hygiene and sanitation.

He said it is encouraging to hear that despite different taboos surrounding the usage of latrines in chief Mukobela’s chiefdom, the chief managed to convince his subjects by a simple demonstration of a simple latrine and telling his subjects the importance of using a latrine.

Mr Mukosha said Zambia has become a good example of other African countries on how it has managed to successfully implement the program of CLTS in Zambia.