The 2012 World Health Organisation (WHO) monitoring report says over six million people in Zambia live without access to toilets and improved sanitation, and Ministry of Local Government and Housing Community Development Officer, Paul Mbosha said over 80 percent of diseases in Zambia emanate from lack of access to improved sanitation.
This came to light during a Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) workshop in Kapiri Mposhi at which 28 community pioneers drawn from across the district were trained to spearhead sanitation activities aimed at discouraging open defecation in their respective communities.
Mbosha said lack of access to improved sanitation contributes to the high prevalence of diarrhoeal diseases adding that there was need for local solutions and innovations aimed at enhancing sanitation and ending open defecation, which according to the report is practiced by 2.5 million people.
He said Zambia risks not achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number seven which aims at reducing by half the number of people who don’t have access to basic sanitation if open defecation was not stopped.
“Millions of people are still using bushes to defecate because they do not have toilets. We need to sensitise people to build basic and affordable toilet structures if we are to achieve MDG number seven and reduce diarrheal diseases,” he stressed.
Meanwhile Kapiri Mposhi District Council Secretary Hamwende Mpande challenged the trained community CLTS pioneers to implement their acquired skills to address various sanitation challenges in their communities.