By Devota Mwachang’a
The government of Tanzania through Ministry of Health Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC) has planned to build public latrines in eight areas which are in the ministry’s strategic plan by 2025.
Tanzania launched a rural-based National Sanitation Campaign (NSC) in 2012 to address the challenges of low coverage of improved sanitation and hygiene at household and school levels.
Speaking to Azania Post NSC Coordinator, Anyitike Mwakitalima said the ministry’s plan will be matured within the Phase II of the campaign (NSC 2016-2020) and will involve the highways to upcountry regions with the aim of improving sanitation and hygiene, use of latrine among passengers.
“The public latrine will be constructed to the highways which connecting Dar es Salaam to Tunduma (two latrines), Dar-Mtwara (one latrine), Morogoro-Mwanza (two latrine), Kagera-Kahama(two latrines) and Mbeya-Katavi (one latrine),” he said.
He said apart from aiming to control Open Defecation (OD) in this phase, under first phase of the campaign, the ministry enabled to construct latrines in 2,113 government schools especially primary schools in both rural and urban across the country.
He detailed: “We carried out an evaluation study of the NSC on 2016 that involved interviews with heads of households, complemented by observations of sanitation and hygiene facilities in 289 villages.”
Mwakitalima said before the campaign on 2012, only 19 percent of households in the villages under the NSC countrywide had better toilets, but until June 2016 the percentage soared to 62 percent, while in case of washing hands before the campaign was range to 5.9 percent but in implementation of the campaign to last year it has ascended to 43 percent.
“A total of 2,875 households from 148 councils participated in the study in Phase I. Overall, 94.7% of the households had a basic toilet; whereas 7.0% households from the control villages against 3.5% from the treatment villages had no any toilet” he said.
In a related move, Njombe District Commissioner Ruth Msafiri said her area is among the 26 regions which implementing the sanitation campaign, and last year 2016 recognized and awarded for being the best in sanitation, with toilets which met the standards by 97 per cent.
“The households in Njombe have considered the indicators of sanitation including availability of utensil racks, availability of rubbish pits, availability and use of toilet, availability and use of hand washing facilities and dish drying facilities and they are not practicing open defecation,” said Msafiri