|FORMER WSSCC Chair, Prof Anna Tibaijuka during the opening of the National Consultation meeting recently in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania|
AS Tanzania starts phase two of the 28bn/- National Sanitation Campaign (NSC) 2016-2020 this month, efforts have been mounted to control Open Defecation (OD) and to ensure households upgrade their latrines both in rural and urban areas.
According to the World Health Organization Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation: 2012 Update, between 1990 and 2010, the proportion of Tanzanians practicing OD increased from 8 per cent to 12 per cent; during this time the national population grew from 25.4 million to nearly 45 million people.
In urban Tanzania, the prevalence of OD has remained at 2 per cent (1990–2010) while the practice has increased from 10 per cent to 16 per cent in rural areas. As a result, an estimated 5.3 million rural inhabitants practiced OD in 2010. Given that Tanzania is estimated to be the fifth largest recipient of international aid in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, the current trends in OD are unexpected.
By 2030, the Sustainable Development Goal Target 6.2 plans to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.
Speaking at a forum on the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) Strategy Development National Consultations in Dar es Salaam on Thursday, the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children head of Water and Environmental Sanitation, Mr Stephen Kiberiti said that focus will be rendered on laws, standards and regulations.
“This will be done through strong behaviour change promotion. Further, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in institutions are also taken on board,” he said.
Highlighting some of the achievements of the first phase of the NSC, Mr Kiberiti said that by March 2016, 1,389,210 households had acquired improved toilets of the 1,520,000 target and that 860,613 primary school improved toilets with hand washing facilities out of the 1,520,000 target.
In the second phase of the campaign, plans are to have latrines in 700 secondary schools rehabilitated including provision of hand-washing facilities and formation of sanitation clubs by 2025, WASH in 1,000 health facilities rehabilitated and management of healthcare waste strengthened in 600 health facilities by 2025.
Other goals are 25 per cent of households to practice water treatment and safe storage by 2025 and eight WASH facilities constructed in highway bus stops by 2025. The WASH facilities will be built at the following centers; Mikumi, Makambako, Wami-Sokoine, Manyoni, Kahama, Same, Laela and Nangulukuru.
“Under phase II the school-WASH we will expand to cover both primary and secondary schools. It is intended to rehabilitate WASH facilities in all Local Government Authorties in a span of five years and at least each LGA is expected to achieve five schools in a year and 25 in the whole circle of five years. In this case, a total of 3,500 primary schools will benefit,” he cited.
The NSC II will work to promote the provision of WASH facilities in bus stops located along the highways. As per the Public Health Regulations, it requires a provision of designated WASH facilities accessible to all for convenience.
Similarly all the urban transport hubs will benefit from this intervention. Apart from hygiene education to passengers and travelers, other pertinent activities under this sub-component will include to mobilize the private sector and other non-governmental organization to provide the services through the Build, Own and Operate approach.
Environmental Health Officer, Amour Seleman said in a presentation that experience in the first phase had shown that there was a lack of platform to discuss issues related to WASH hence no sharing of lessons among all stakeholders with the LGA and thus a need to identity those working on WASH as well as establish a coordination platform between LGAs and identified stakeholders.
“Whilst there have been many achievements, there were challenges including lack of knowledge, dissemination and promotion of successful approaches, weak coordination among LGA and a need to select with a LGA a clear responsible department to deal with day to day issues related to sanitation and hygiene within local governments,” he said.
The WSSCC National Coordinator, Ms Wilhelmina Malima said that the country-specific strategic engagement plan aimed to guide WSSCC’s actions in Tanzania.
Ms Malima said that the strategic engagement plan is to ensure that WSSCC’s contributions add value to the national sanitation and hygiene sector, fulfill locally identified needs, support achievement of national goals and targets, and build on existing structures, institutions and networks.
The national consultations are a platform for dialogue and a listening exercise to better understand the challenges and priorities in the WSSCC countries and aims to explore the challenges that affect the WASH sector and the WSSCC’s work in Tanzania as well as to explore, together with the members and key stakeholders, the strategic choices and priorities that the WSSCC is facing and want to see included in the final strategy paper.