Sanitation in rural areas a challenge: Mushelenga

16 Oct 2018 15:30pm
OMITARA, 16 OCT (NAMPA) – Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga has raised concerns at the level of sanitation and hygiene in peri-urban and rural settings.
Mushelenga said it was worrying to see people still struggling with ablution facilities, which often force them to defecate in the open areas or make use of the unhygienic ‘bucket system’ for toilets.
The minister made the remarks when he handed over 244 newly constructed ablution facilities here on Monday.
Mushelenga said despite government’s efforts to advance rural communities, the provision of housing, especially to ultra-low income groups, remains a challenge.
He added that the ministry however remains committed to bringing development to rural areas and informal settlements in urban areas, in its quest to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas.
“The ministry has taken various steps to ensure that the poor are not left out of development and that rural areas are equally developed.
“Part of these is to experiment with locally available, low-cost building materials for houses, such as clay bricks and other material in order to cover a larger number of citizens with the limited funds at our disposal,” he explained.
Omaheke Regional Governor, Festus Ueitele said the handing over of the ablution facilities coincides with the ‘Global Hand Washing Day’, and should therefore set the tone for the maintenance of proper hygiene.
He noted that providing sanitation to communities in rural areas helps to restore the dignity of those living there.
“The need for proper ablution facilities can never be underestimated as it forms the basis of a healthy environment,” he said.
Omitara also saw the construction of a 500 metre access road linking the Otjivero Primary School and adjacent residential area to the main road.
The total costs of all the projects including the ablution blocks and the road, which were also funded by the line ministry of Urban and Rural Development through the regional council, amounts to N.dollars 8.9 million.