2012 National Sanitation Week Commemorations Launched in Harare.

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Posted by  in: Wash News

 

Monday, 17 September 2012 17:41

 

Zimbabwe is this week commemorating National Sanitation Week against the backdrop of outbreaks of diseases such as bilharzia which is fast becoming an emerging major health problem in the country.

 

The sanitation week that was launched in Harare under the theme Proper Waste Management for a Clean, Safe and Healthy Environment, seeks to remind stakeholders of the need to ensure that Zimbabweans have access to proper sanitation and clean water.

With reports that bilharzia, cholera and typhoid outbreaks have been recorded in some parts of the country, both urban and rural areas, it raises questions on why the country should still be experiencing such archaic diseases at a time when the world is putting efforts in promoting good hygiene.

 

In an interview at the launch of the National Sanitation Week in Harare, the Environmental Services Director in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Mr Goldberg Mangwandu says Zimbabwe needs to increase efforts to promote good hygiene and invest in toilets and clean water provision. This comes at a time when the country is grappling with diseases that are caused by compromised sanitation hygiene and water shortages.

 


“As a country we are worried about the outbreak of typhoid, cholera and bilharzia which are primitive disease which can be avoided through improved sanitation, we are saying there is need to revive the community health clubs for awareness building,” Mangwandu said.

 


Focus of the Nation now is on zero tolerance to open defecation. The WASH Sector is trying to make sure that the campaign against Open Defecation bears fruit because such practices also contribute to poor sanitation and contamination of water sources.” Meanwhile, the City of Harare has embarked on a programme of educating the public on the need to improve on hygiene to avoid the outbreaks of water-borne diseases.

 


Zimbabwe paid a high price for its limited investment in sanitation and water programmes between 2008 and 2009 when more than 4 000 people died from cholera and over 100 000 were infected because of poor hygiene and a lack of toilet facilities.


The recent recurrence of bilharzia and typhoid should serve as a bold wake up call to relevant authorities to ensure that people have access to proper sanitation facilities and clean water.

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