A faith-based organisation is working with residents of Mbeere North Sub County to reduce open defecation that had led to increased cases of hygiene related illnesses in the region.
Through the Kenya Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme (KSHIP) implemented by Amref and Caritas, all households in 36 villages in Evurori ward now have pit latrines.
This comes against a 2013 revelation that 65 percent of the households in the region lack toilets, putting the county at number 40 in the country in open defecation.
Caritas Assistant Director in Embu diocese John Munene said they will extend the programme to the remaining 24 villages most hit by open defecation in the ward.
The Sub County has 21,200 households with 1,678 having no latrines at all and 3, 357 sharing.
Through advocacy, we have been able to convince them to dig latrines. It has been difficult due to high levels of poverty in this semiarid zone, but we hope the programme moves with speed, he said during a tour of the programme Wednesday.
Munene said two latrines have been constructed in public hospitals and one in a primary school adding that the programme will be extended to Muminji, Kiambere and Nthawa wards, also affected by the menace.
We also intend to spread the programme over to Mbeere South Sub County where four people died following a cholera outbreak in 2014, he said.
They have also come up with a diarrhea management programme targeting children under five, to reduce diarrhea related deaths that are common in the area due to poor hygiene occasioned by lack of water in the semiarid region.
Nine community units have been put up in the management centres to attend to cases as they emerge.
The programme is also being implemented in 13 other counties that include Kajiado, Siaya, Muranga, Wajir, Tharaka Nithi and Nyandarua among others.
County Director of Health Dr Stephen Kaniaru said the Department is working closely with the Education Ministry to have hand washing points established in all the schools in the county to prevent dirt related infections.
Source: Kenya News Agency