Today, Kenya joins the rest of the world to mark the World Toilet Day with alarming revelations that more than 5 million people do not have access to toilets. World Toilet Day is observed every November 19. More than 2 million people live in environments without proper drainage and sewerage systems is enough testimony that people are dying due to preventable ailments and that can be overcome by digging latrines. Defecating in the open is ancient but is widely practiced in the contemporary world. This is a practice a traveler finds easy to do on another person’s land but may never want it to happen in his neighborhood. Bushes and thickets near the highways that beautify our environment face destruction that is costly to restore in a single season. At a household level, having a properly dug toilet or latrine is a campaign that must be well-funded and properly planned for in order to succeed. This should not be county or national government project but a joint coordinated exercise that should see the end of diarrhea in the country. International organizations have ever strategized for this and are good partners in this initiative to reduce deaths and medical expenses caused by open defecation. Their participation in the latrine and proper disposal of waste, if ever engaged, will be worthwhile. Ward administrators and other local based leaders should make use of their presence amongst the people and have a meet –the- people- and educate tour that will clearly target individual households to show the need for proper sanitation. The lack of funds to do a proper toilet is not a factor for people to defecate in the bushes but a sure way of sending them to early graves due to the poor disposal of toilets. With poor sanitation and anyhow defecation, the heavy rains will wash waste from the bushes and flow it downstream. The streams will then flow dirty and water downstream will be contaminated hence a sure path to unending sickness. In the end, productivity will be affected. For towns, open and leaking sewer lines are a danger to many residents and to the immediate environment. Properly done toilets mean better hygiene and the more informed people are about sanitation, preventable ailments among the people will be a thing of the past.
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