A Toilet In Every Home: Zambians Celebrate Sanitation Milestone

Friday, May 22, 2015

On a sunny day in the remote Chienge district of Zambia, hundreds gathered for a celebration that was the first of its kind. There was singing, laughing and no shortage of dancing. The village chiefs and government officials came dressed in their finest clothes, while volunteers sported bright green T-shirts that read, “We use a toilet … do you?”

The daylong event celebrated a milestone in Zambia, where the practice of defecating in the open is all too common. In April, Chienge, in the northernmost province of Luapula, became the first district in Zambia to be declared free of open defecation by the government. According to UNICEF, it’s also the first district in southern Africa to fully abandon the practice. That means every household has at least one private latrine and a place to wash your hands.

“It means the community has decided they don’t accept [defecating] in the bush or outside,” says Philippa Crooks, a UNICEF volunteer from Australia, who helped run the campaign in the district of some 40 villages and 134,000 people.

Source: NPR (link opens in a new window)

Education, Health Care