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January 23, 2019

Pit latrine crackdown is needed everywhere

A pit latrine in Kilifi./FILE
A pit latrine in Kilifi./FILE

Ten homeowners have been arrested in Budalang'i for not having pit latrines or toilets in their houses.. There is an outbreak of cholera in the constituency.

Public health officers said the crackdown will continue until toilets are built in all homesteads.

This crackdown is reminiscent of the harsh enforcement of colonial era regulations for peasant farmers. But it is necessary.

Open defaecation is dangerous. In the dry season, infection is spread as turds dry out and their dust is blown about. In the rainy season, the faecal matter seeps down and contaminates groundwater and even boreholes.

When there is flooding as in recent months, faecal matter can spread far and wide if it is left lying on open ground.

When there is a cholera outbreak, open defecation can almost be considered attempted murder.

Every county government in Kenya should enforce the rule that all homes have either a pit latrine or toilet, and punish homeowners who do not comply.

Counties should not wait until there is a cholera outbreak to ensure proper hygiene.


Quote of the day: "I am as bad as the worst, but, thank God, I am as good as the best."

Walt Whitman

The American poet was born on 31 May, 1819













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