48 Percent of Rural Folk Use Bush Toilets.

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Posted by  in: Wash News


22 October 2012


BULAWAYO — 32 years after Zimbabwe gained independence, about 48% of its rural folk still defecate in the bush, exposing each other to diarrhoeal diseases, a cabinet minister said last week.


Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, Minister of Water Resources Development and Management blamed the increasing outbreaks of water-borne diseases like (typhoid, choler etc) in rural areas to the use of the bush system by villagers.


“Ministers were laughing at me when I told them that our assessments show that 48% of Zimbabweans in rural areas use bush toilets,” said Sipepa-Nkomo. “They could not believe me. Our studies show that this is true. I told my colleagues in Cabinet that some of them could not fit into some of the toilets that villagers use.”


He added: “Most homes in the country especially in rural areas have no toilets. I was in Mtshabezi on Wednesday [last week] and nine out of 10 households there did not have toilets.”


Sipepa-Nkomo was speaking to journalists after touring Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects in Bulilima and Mangwe districts in Plumtree last week.


The minister emphasised the need to educate villagers on the importance of having toilets, especially the older generations.


“I think first of all, most villagers do not appreciate the need to have and use toilets. Most of them grew up in an era where it was unthinkable to use toilets,” said Sipepa-Nkomo. “When I was growing up, there was nothing like that [toilets].”


Nkomo went on to state that children in rural areas die before the age of 5 due to pneumonia and diarrhoea-related diseases as a result of poor sanitation.


Nkomo said: “Most child deaths are related to the lack of access to sanitation and safe water as well as poor hygiene practices. We need the DfID funded and UNICEF managed  Rural WASH Project to help villagers realise the need to have toilets to protect themselves from diseases.”





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