Yuru and Namuwawa villages declared ‘open defecation free’

Government's efforts to create Open Defecation Free (ODF) Communities has seen two villages, Yuru and Namuwawa village in the Kavango East Region being declared as the first two ODF villages in the region.

The villages were given the status on Wednesday at Yuru village under Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), a concept to mobilize communities to eliminate open defecation.

An ODF status was also afforded to Yuru Primary School under Community-Led School Sanitation (SLSS) which falls under the same programme.

The newly declared ODF villages fall under four regions that are being piloted, characterized by the lowest-performing child survival and developmental indicators in the country and these regions such as Ohangwena, Kavango West and Kavango East and Zambezi region.

The programme is being facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) and its implementing partners, the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, and Ministry of Urban and Rural Development.

The project is being financially and technically supported by the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef).

Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), as a concept is an innovative methodology for mobilizing communities to completely eliminate open defecation (OD). This is done by facilitating communities to conduct their own appraisal and analysis of OD and take action to become ODF, explained Cavin Mwinga the project manager from MAWF.

Besides the project being piloted in four regions, Mwinga said CLTS was also recently introduced in Omusati region and in Khomas region through Urban-CLTS in Samora Marchel and MOsees Garoeb constituencies, especially in the informal settlements.

He added that CLTS is part of hygiene promotion with more emphasis on communities taking care of themselves and embracing handwashing with soap at all times to avoid some of the outbreaks of the disease such as Hepatitis E and Cholera among others.

Mwinga further said that hygiene education and awareness has reached more than 20 000 people in targeted regions through interventions aimed at curbing the spread of diseases and creating a healthy nation with minimal strain on the health system.

In 2018, three villages were declared to be ODF which are Ondilinawa, Okakango Kondunda and Eenyama all situated in Eehana constituency in the Ohangwena Region.

Source: Namibia Press Agency