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Parirenyatwa: More Toilets Needed for Rural Population

  • Sithandekile Mhlanga

The United Nations says lack of improved sanitation is exposing women and girls to rape and abuse as they have no toilets that offer privacy.

Zimbabwe’s health ministry says more than half the country’s rural population is still using the bush for toilets despite government efforts to build blair toilets for most communities, as the world marked World Toilet Day on Wednesday.

Health Minister David Parirenyatwa recently said his ministry is urging community leaders in rural areas to encourage villagers to build the toilets as the government does not have enough resources.

Last year the United Nations named November 19 as World Toilet Day to create awareness and the need for the provision of toilets to everyone.

The United Nations says out of the world’s population of seven billion, 2.5 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation, and women and girls risk rape and abuse as they have no toilets that offer privacy.

Reacting to these reports, Nkayi Rural District chairman Sicelo Mpofu said some schools and villages have benefitted from programs funded by the United Nations International Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) to build the blair toilets, adding that the introduction of new models requiring one instead of five bags of cement will increase beneficiaries.