Houses stop open defecation
About 152 households in Ihirang village, Lopa county of Imotong state have been declared open defecation free.
The households were declared to be open defecation free after each household constructed a pit latrine, a project under the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) that was initiated in January 2015 by Rural Water and Sanitation Support Agency with support from NIRAS and the National Ministry of Water Resources.
Speaking on the occasion on Friday, Joseph Kenyi, the Executive Director of Rural Water and Sanitation Support Agency (RUWASSA) said it is a national pride for South Sudan that sanitation is made possible on top of the hill and at a time when the country is in a difficult situation where only emergency activities are done.
“What the community of Ihirang has done is a developmental activity and it is through their resilience that they managed to finance building their own latrines 100 percent without outside support. What we did was to trigger the community to better understand the importance of constructing latrines and proper use,” Kenyi said.
He added that they are currently doing follow-up with the community and further applauded the financing partner; NIRAS, the national and state governments for their support.
“Let this model be used to scale up sanitation all over the county, state and country,” he said.
Peter Mahal Dhieu, the Director General for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation at the National Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation said water supply coverage in the country was 41 percent and the sanitation level was very low at 13.3 percent and the ministry intends to reach 100 percent sanitation and hygiene coverage.
“We have produced water policy that contains sanitation and hygiene, we have technical guidelines that guides emergencies, development of quality water guidelines so that we monitor the quality of water that we a providing the community and its frame work,” he said.
He added that the ministry has developed a rural watch action and investment and an urban water sanitation and hygiene implementation plan.
“We have also developed irrigation development master plan in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture together with Comprehensive Agriculture Master Plan (CAMP) and now we are waiting for the approval of the water bill that will determine our activities, the law will serve and address the implementation of the water policies”, Mahal said.
“We have also developed community managed total sanitation framework or strategy”, Mahal added.
He applauded the community for their achievement by implementing the policy of the government and urged them to continue with the same spirit as a way of protecting themselves from spread of diseases like cholera and so forth.
Mahal further called on the government and the development partners to support local NGOs and Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) to implement government policies of adequate water supply and proper sanitation.
Alfred Oburo Ohisa, said that since he started practicing proper hygiene, like waste management and constructed a pit latrine, it has protected him and his family from snake bites, and diseases like cholera and malaria.
John Savio, the Minister for Physical Infrastructure in Imotong state said he hopes the community of Ihirang village, Lopa County will proceed with the same hygiene trends and act as an example to other neighbouring communities.
“These communities are a point of growth. From here, it can grow to other counties, bomas and the entire country. The policy and activities of RUWASSA, sanitation and health promotion, if supported could be achieved in the entire country as it is reflected in the government policies,” Savio said. He also added that peace is vital for achievement of healthy environment, proper sanitation and hygiene.
By Sasuk Taban