By Samuel Ouma
To enhance human development, you must prioritize hygiene and sanitation; the Ministry of Health announced as the Kenya Sanitation Week campaign entered its third day on Wednesday, August 11, 2021.
The Kenya sanitation week is an annual event that highlights the importance of hygiene and sanitation as one of the significant positive livelihood practices for communities to enhance human development.
The event brings together Non- Governmental organizations (NGO’s), government agencies, the private sector, media, and individuals to participate in raising awareness about sanitation and hygiene.
This year’s campaign focuses on Community and household cleanup exercises, school debates, and an award ceremony for Counties that show exemplary performance during the week, under the theme “Good leadership in sanitation and hygiene is key to ending open defecation”.
The Kenya Sanitation Week 2021 officially kicked off simultaneously on Monday in six counties and targets 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.
According to the ministry’s Principal Public Health Officer Janet Mule, the 15 counties contribute majorly to open defecation. Nearly 10% of the population in these counties defecate openly, 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,” said Janet Mule while leading a cleanup exercise at a local market in southwestern Kenya.