KNA Narok County loses Sh. 864 million each year to sanitations related diseases which could have easily been avoided if proper sanitation or hygiene was observed in the county.
Speaking during a county stakeholders’ meeting held at a Narok hotel on Tuesday, County Public Health Officer (CPHO) Mr. Edward Tankoi said the amount involves the cost of treating the infections, such as diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid and the man hours lost which could have been used for productive activities.
He expressed dismay that the county is ranked among 15 counties in the country which have the highest cases of Open Defecation (OD). Its estimated 332,382 (28.3 per cent) of the residents of Narok defecate in the open.
Tankoi revealed that Only 437 villages out of 2,858 villages mapped out in the county has been certified Open Defecation Free (ODF) representing a mere 15 per cent of the mapped villages with Sagamian ward in Narok South Sub-county being the only ward certified Open Defecation Free (ODF in the county).
The county is ranked number 44 in the country in sanitation related issues with nearly half of this population practice open defecation which in turn pollutes water sources.
To this end, Tankoi said department of public health in Narok County has embarked on a major sanitation campaign in all the sub-counties which will take place from August 9 to 13 this year in order to improve sanitation and reduce sanitation related diseases in the county.
It’s also aimed at increasing awareness and promote sanitation and hygiene at community level and build a momentum on sanitation. It will also Inform the general public through massive media engagement.
Tankoi said Kenya is one of the 26 countries that present 90 per cent of Open Defecation (OD) in the world, where 3.5 million people in the country practice Open Defecation representing 7.4 per cent of all households in the country.
He advised the residents of Narok to observe hygiene in order to avoid these sanitation-related diseases. He said the county requires Sh. 221million to handle sanitation issues in the county which if availed could handle all sanitation issues in the county once and for all.
Speaking during the same function, the county water, hygiene and sanitation coordinator Ms Abigael Rono said the sanitation programme faced challenges from cultural practices, where older men cannot share a toilet with their young daughters, ignorance and funding among others.