–People in Chikankata District and throughout Zambia should work together to bring about Open Defecation Free in the country in order to contribute to the 2015 national target on sanitation and hygiene improvement, says Leonard Mukosha, Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) National Coordinator and master trainer.
Mr Mukosha said this at the opening of a Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and School Led Total Sanitation (SLTS) District training workshop for Chikankata and Mazabuka districts yesterday.
The government with support from UNICEF and DFID is implementing a nation-wide sanitation and hygiene component which is part of the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation programme (NRWSSP).
Mr Mukosha explained that open defecation brings about many health hazards to the citizens and the nation at large.
He said Zambia loses $194 million equivalent to 1.3 % of Gross National Product every year due to poor sanitation.
He noted that these deaths are as a result of diarrhea-related diseases because of poor sanitation.
Mr Mukosha said traditional leaders, technocrats and civic leaders have a major role to play in ensuring environment is kept safe and clean.
He urged people in areas where they are still practicing open defecation, to construct pit latrines with hand washing facilities.
Meanwhile, Zonal Insert Coordinator (ZIC) George Syanzalu from Nadezwe Primary School in Chikankata district confirmed that sanitation is a very cardinal element in schools.
Mr Syanzalu noted that once sanitation is improved in schools, it will promote high enrollment of pupils, high attendance, and improve the standards of education in the country.