Japan donates N.dollars 2 million to fight Hepatitis E

The government of the People of Japan has donated about N.dollars 2 million (150 000 USD) towards a project aimed at empowering residents living in informal settlement on how to build their own toilets, in effort to curb Hepatitis E disease.

The pilot project co-funded by the United Nations Programme (UNDP) in Namibia has built eight sanitation centres which includes, two dry and wet toilets to serve as a demonstration centres to the general public and guide local residents on how to build their own safe toilets.

Speaking at the launch of the sanitation centre in Hadino Hishongwa block of the Samora Machel constituency here on Monday, UNDP Resident Representative Alka Bhatia said the Hepatitis national emergency calls for a different approach towards addressing the sanitation and hygiene challenges.

Effective sanitation and hygiene behaviour change depends on the participation of stakeholders especially the community members, she said.

Bhatia noted that globally sanitation programming has changed from toilet provision to behaviour change through community let approaches, adding that therefore the City of Windhoek and relevant ministries have embraced the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach not only to address the ongoing Hepatitis E outbreak, but as sustainable solution to address sanitation and hygiene challenges faced by Namibia.

She noted that under the leadership of the Samora Machel and Moses Garoeb constituencies councillors the CLTS task force was formed to plan and implement CLTS activities within the community in the constituency.

Bhatia said eight sanitation centres were built in the two constituencies, however the number was increased to a total of 26 sanitation centres, each toilet costs N.dollars 4000 to N.dollars 6000.

We want to show that decrease open defecation if the community is empowered, they are able to built their own toilets which they can take care of properly, thus to date 29 toilet own-built toilets were built by community members as a direct result of the first project interventions, she said.

At the same note, the Ambassador of Japan to Namibia Hideaki Harada said Japan has been in collaboration with the Namibian government before and after independence, hence the saw the need to further assist in the crisis of life-threatening Hepatitis E disease.

Source: Namibia Press Agency