Habitat for Humanity Kenya joins in the celebration of World Toilet Day. As a key player in the housing sector, HFH Kenya understands best the role off access to toilet in the pursuit for affordable and adequate housing. It is a sad fact that poor housing conditions go hand in hand with lack of access to toilets. This explains the flying toilets is experienced in slum dwellings. It even gets worse in the rural areas especially for the low-income vulnerable populations who then resort to open defecation.
The World Toilet’s Day is observed on 19th November to inspire and create actions that aim at to tackling sanitation crisis. Lack of access to toilets leads to an unhealthy environment contaminated by human waste. Without proper sanitation facilities, human waste contaminates land and water, increasing the risk of infection for humanity. It goes without saying that proper waste disposal reduces the spread of diseases.
This year’s World Toilet Day focuses on the impact of the sanitation crisis on groundwater. The theme ‘Making the invisible visible’ explores how poor sanitation or lack of it spreads fecal matter into water ways underground spreading human waste into rivers, lakes and soil, polluting underground water resources contributing to the spread of many diseases and conditions that can cause widespread illness and death.
While Habitat for Humanity Kenya continues to address housing challenges in Kenya, sanitation has not been left behind. All the beneficiaries selected for the decent housing experience lack of access to toilet facilities. A few of who could be having some toilets have makeshift structures done shallowly that endangers their lives. Habitat for Humanity Kenya includes toilet construction for these beneficiaries as part of the housing package for improved health outcomes.
In many schools where we work and construct classrooms for improved quality of education access to toilet remains a hindrance to education. With the ministry of education guidelines on the pupil toilet ratio usually one toilet door for 30 boys and 25 for girls, this is rarely practiced. Habitat for Humanity Kenya has constructed toilet for a number of schools including Mbombo primary school, Mukima in Naibor. A construction of 10 door toilet is currently on going at Manga primary school Homa Bay county, while Disi and Nyomwaro primary schools’ toilets are also in the pipeline.
As we celebrate this day, it is important to remember that sanitation goes hand in hand with proper hand washing and access to clean and safe water. Habitat for Humanity Kenya remains in the frontline in promoting access to these crucial commodities and practices. We urge policy makers and members of the public to realize the connection between sanitation and access to clean and safe water especially the underground water which is invisible. All actors and government should take stock of progress made toward the achievement of sustainable development goal number 6 towards the achievement of safe toilet for all by 2030