BOTSWANA CELEBRATES TOILET DAY
The first ever Toilet Day commemoration was held in Maun on Monday under the theme, ‘No one is left behind’.
Speaking at the event, USAID Southern Africa Mission Director, John Groarke revealed at least 60 percent of the world’s population do not have access to safe and modern sanitation – that’s over four billion people!
Zooming in to focus on the tourist town, Groarke said, “Here in Maun the flow of the Thamalakane River is not what it used to be. It’s getting dryer and the absence of water makes sanitation more difficult to develop and manage.
“Poorly managed sanitation has become not only a national health risk but a business risk that affects all sectors as well as communities.”
Despite this, Groarke was full of praise for the country, noting, “Botswana is taking the lead in ensuring that everyone regardless of where they live has access to modern and safe sanitation.”
For her part, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Bonolo Khumotaka announced basic sanitation coverage in Botswana stands at 77 percent in urban areas.
However, she admitted the remaining population practices open defecation.
As for the Toilet Day’s theme, Khumotaka said, “To me it is a rallying call to ensure that the provision of sanitation services is not a special provision to a special group of people but to all of us!”
Khumotaka stressed her ministry is working tirelessly to establish a sanitation services division which will be responsible for sanitation, waste water management and planning, bio solids management, resource recovering and monitoring and evaluation of sanitation schemes.
World Toilet Day was set aside by the United Nations in 2013 to draw attention to issues related to the provision of sanitation services globally. It is the first time Botswana have commemorated the initiative.