European Union supports sanitation project with N$7.9 million
A sanitation project aimed at improving sanitation and containing the spread of Hepatitis E in informal settlements received funding of N$7.9 million from the European Union recently.
The project, spearheaded by Development Workshop Namibia, will be implemented in 10 towns over the coming three years to reach out to some 210,000 informal settlement residents.
It will work through a wide network of volunteers with the aim to change hygiene behaviours of residents and stimulate the construction of improved sanitation facilities in collaboration with local authorities. GIS mapping will complement the project to assist local authorities to promote and pursue strategies for affordable sanitation for all.
“The European Union is delighted to be part of this multi-stakeholder programme to support improved sanitation to communities in a manner, which we believe is workable and sustainable”, said Ambassador Sinikka Antila.
The project follows a successful piloting phase in the city of Windhoek during 2019-2020. The project has already initiated the printing of information materials and constructed the first four- out of 50 sanitation centres that exhibit demonstration toilets that can easily be built by local residents themselves.
The first towns where the project is being implemented are Karibib and Swakopmund where local authorities have welcomed the initiative.
Open defecation causes major health and environmental problems within informal settlements where residents do not have access to proper sanitation facilities and are therefore forced to defecate in dry riverbeds or bushy areas near their homes.
Hepatitis E and COVID-19 are among the many diseases that can be spread through contact with faeces. According to the last Census data, an estimated 50% of informal settlement residents do not have access to sanitation.
Caption: A toilet in Windhoek’s ‘Otjomuise’ informal area.