Paramount Chief Kyungu of Karonga says it is unfortunate that fifty-three years after independence some of his subjects choose not to have toilets, resorting; instead, to bushes and the lake to answer the call of nature.
The most senior traditional leader in the district has since challenged his fellow chiefs to take action in combating the problem.
“As chiefs we must we must take up the challenge of leading from the front in ensuring that our subjects have access to safe water and pit latrines which will stop them from drinking from lakes and rivers where they defecate and hence reduce the problem of waterborne diseases,” said Kyungu.
He was speaking Wednesday during an interface meeting organized by Feed the Children under the project called Tiwalere II Key Result Area 3 that, among others, is working towards improved adoption of Essential Hygiene Action (EHA) and increased access to safe water.
According to statistics available at Karonga district commissioner’s office, only 255 600 of the 355 000 households in the district have toilets.
Feed the Children water and sanitation coordinator, Emmanuel Masongola, was hopeful that Karonga would soon achieve and open defecation free status through the methodology of community led total sanitation (CLTS).
CLTS is an innovative methodology for mobilizing communities to completely eliminate open defecation (OD).
“With this approach communities are facilitated to conduct their own appraisal and analysis of open defecation and take their own action to become open defecation free,” said Masongola.
The project, pegged at $39.5 million, has financial assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (US Aid).