NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 11 – About 30,000 Kenyans die annually due to diarrhoea that can be prevented, according to two non-governmental organisations, pushing for the provision of better hygiene and sanitation facilities.
Ecotact Limited and Wash United said the statistics were alarming and there was need for urgent action to sensitise Kenyans on ways of preventing the disease, through proper sanitation.
Ecotact Limited Executive Director David Kuria urged Kenyans to upscale their cleanliness culture to achieve their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“If our cities are clean in terms of good waste management and increasing access to clean water we will be on our way to achieving our MDGs in the next three years. This will also help us realise our Vision 2030,” he argued.
The two organisations also cited research indicating that only one percent of school going children wash their hands with soap after bathroom visits.
“In addition, diarrhoeal diseases cause 16 percent of deaths among children below five years in Kenya and the death toll exceeds that of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined,” they claimed.
Wash United Country Coordinator Kerubo Okioga further expressed concern over the sanitary conditions in public schools.
She noted that in Nairobi, Machakos, Kiambu and Kajiado Counties, one toilet is shared by 64 students against the international standards of one toilet for 25 female students and one toilet for 35 male.
“In Mombasa the figure is a staggering one toilet to 333 students,” she disclosed.