[NAIROBI] Scientists have done substantive research that links causes of diseases such as cholera, typhoid and diarrhoea to poor sanitation, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the World Bank’s water sanitation programme, 564 million and 326 million Africans do not have access to sanitation and safe drinking water respectively. The programme says that although countries such as Rwanda have made significant progress in access to clean water and sanitation, the continent needs to accelerate efforts to provide sanitation and water services to the millions of its population without them.

A scene of refuse near a water body

But as the search for solutions continues, there seems to be consensus globally to invest in preventive measures such as vaccines. This has been seen in a number of efforts to fight diseases such as TB and malaria. However, there seems to be less focus on one of the measures that can help significantly cut down the burden of disease on the continent, which is how to improve as well as revamp the sanitation sector in the countries. These measures were discussed extensively at a workshop organized by Kenya’s Ministry of Water and Sanitation in Nairobi last two weeks (29-31 May).

One of the key concerns for sanitation experts was how to get simple, cost-friendly innovative technologies for waste-water management in Kenya.

“The long-term benefits of sanitation can be instrumental in significantly reducing the burden of disease in Africa.”

Article By: Gilbert Nakweya


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