Chiefs in Narok County have been challenged to be at the forefront in sensitising residents on the importance of having pit latrines at their homes to decrease cases of water-borne diseases.
Narok Public Health Officer John Kiu said only 26 per cent of the homesteads in the county had dug pit latrines, raising eyebrows about the big population that is still defecating in the open.
Kiu, who spoke during chiefs and their assistants' meeting convened by the County Commissioner Isaac Masinde at the Narok Teachers Training College, urged the administrators to be role models by making sure their homesteads had a pit latrine.
The public health officer revealed that only Trans Mara East sub-county out of the eight sub-counties in Narok had been declared Open Defecation Free after the public health officials established that 97 per cent of the homesteads had toilets.
“We want all other counties to follow suit and ensure all the homesteads have toilets. It is a shame for a family not to have a toilet in this century,” he said.
Kiu reiterated that his department has been moving around sensitising residents on the importance of having a toilet in their premises and called on the chiefs to speak about it in public barazas.
“We want to engage everybody in this fight so that we can win. We do not want a situation where members of the public feel that it is the public health officers only pushing them to have toilets,” he said.
Some waterborne diseases caused by a lack of toilets include Cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid, hepatitis, scabies and worm infections.
Commissioner Masinde said building toilets do not require a lot of money as the same can be constructed with locally available materials.
He asked the chiefs to move around and take a database of families that do not have toilets and continue sensitizing them on the need to have toilets.
The move comes at a time when the country is marking sanitation week with an aim of sensitizing residents on the need to keep hygiene for human development.