The Kenya Sanitation Week campaign entered its third day on Wednesday with calls for communities to prioritize hygiene and sanitation as a way of enhancing human development.
The campaign which kicked off simultaneously in six counties on Monday targeting 15 high burden Counties aims at ending open defecation by 2025.
Principal Public Health Officer at the Ministry of Health (MoH) Janet Mule leading a community cleanup exercise at Rangwe market in Homabay County, said the 15 counties contribute majorly to open defecation with nearly 10% of the population in these counties practicing open defecation which is a threat to human development.
“Open defecation, is a practice which leads communities to experience high infant mortality rates and child mortality among other problems including the spread of Covid 19 which we know is a sanitation and hygiene related condition,” she said.
The Kenya sanitation week is an annual event that seeks to highlight the importance of hygiene and sanitation as one of the major positive livelihood practices for communities as a way of enhancing human development.
It brings together Non- Governmental organizations (NGO’s), government agencies, the private sector, media and individuals to participate in raising awareness about sanitation and hygiene.
The campaign is being rolled out in 15 high burden open defecation counties namely Baringo, Garissa, Homa Bay, Isiolo, Kajiado, Kilifi, Kwale, Mandera, Marsabit, Narok, Samburu, Tana River, Turkana, Wajir, and West Pokot.
This week the campaign is focusing on Community and household clean-up exercises, school debates, and an award ceremony for Counties that show exemplary performance during the week.
The theme for this year’s Sanitation Week is. “Good leadership in sanitation and hygiene is key to ending open defecation”