Unilever Wants Proper Sanitation…In View Of Cholera Outbreaks

PROPER Sanitation continues to pose a challenge in the country as toilet facilities are scarce and sometimes when access to them is provided, there is no added challenge of developing hygienic habits, Unilever Country Director Shamail Randeree has observed
Commemorating the World Toilet Day which falls on 16th November, at Lusaka’s Emmasdale Primary School which was the first in their Germ Busters School Programme, Mr. Randeree noted that according to the United Nations, the world is not on track to reach Sustainable Goal number Six to ensure availability and sustainable management of sanitation and water for all by 2030.
“Aware of the fact that poor sanitation drastically increases the risk of disease and malnutrition, especially for women and children, Unilever has been working on promoting good hygiene standards in Zambia. Unilever through its brand Domestos, has been working with primary schools in Lusaka with the Germ Busters School programme, where almost 6,000 children from grades 1-4 were taught on the importance of always keeping the toilet clean,” Mr. Randeree explained.
Mr. Randeree observed that Schools are an excellent opportunity to create lifelong changes in behaviour as students spend an average of 180 days on Schools, 8 hours a day.
“We are committed to changing people’s lives through improved sanitation. As part of Unilever’s Sustainable living plan, we have committed to helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020,” He said.
He added that the firm is dedicated to supporting children by improving access to clean, safe toilets at school, and using education on hygiene and behaviour change to ensure they stay clean.
“Sanitation is central to human and environmental health as well as to individual opportunity, development and dignity. We call on all stakeholders to intervene and bring to an end open defecation. If the World is to meet its commitment to ensure the by 2030 everyone everywhere has access to clean water and sanitation. We all need to work together. It can only be achieved through strong political will and cross- sector collaboration. Mr. Randeree stated.
Mr. Randeree stated that Sanitation should be made a priority at the individual, community and national level and has to be brought to the forefront of the development agenda.
And the Ministry of Health stated that toilets are paramount particularly for women and girls.
Ministry of Health assistant director for Non-Communicable Diseases Dr. Sharon Kapambwe who represented Health Minister Dr. Chitalu Chilufya noted that women and girls who lack access to adequate sanitation experience higher rates of illness such as urinary tract infections.
“The Lack of safe, secluded toilets at schools is one of the main reasons why girls miss school days or drop out of school altogether. The United Nations noted that when schools offer decent toilets, eleven percent more girls attend,” Dr. Kapambwe noted.
Dr. Kapambwe added that the on-going problem, and impact of inadequate sanitation is why goal six of the new global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is devoted to clean water and sanitation.
“Toilets are not a topic most of us are comfortable talking about. But to ensure adequate sanitation services for all, we first need to break the silence. That is the objective of World Toilet Day. Let us break the silence,” she emphasized.
She added that the impact of exposure to human waste material on this scale has a devastating impact upon public health, living and working conditions, nutrition, education and economic productivity across the world.
Dr. Kapambwe said the Government and the Ministry of Health are grateful to Unilever’s Domestos for its important life-saving and life changing initiative.
This year’s world Toilet Day was been commemorated under the Theme: “When nature calls “