Sierra Leone has observed this year’s World Toilet Day with the orientation of Local Councils on new approaches to increasing access to sanitation and sensitization by the Department for International Development (DFID), UNICEF wash project in Sierra Leone.
Addressing Council Members from the Provinces and the Western Area at the Bank of Sierra Leone Complex at Kingtom, the Director of Primary Health Care in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Alhassan Seisay described the event as meaningful to the development of humanity and the environment in general.
He intimated that over two billion people globally lack access to water and sanitation, adding that good sanitation programmes would help reduce illness due to filth and unhygienic conditions; and called on Council Members and stakeholders within the local government to work towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Dr Seisay noted the importance of having clean toilets, disclosing that eleven Districts in the Country have been declared “open defecation free communities”.
He underscored the importance of the role of Councils in ensuring that their communities are sensitized and educated; adding that the Ministry with this new innovative approach and with the validation of its Health Sector Strategic Plan, there is hope to meet the challenges ahead by achieving the target goals of 2015.
Deputizing the UNICEF Country Representative, Paul Sengeh described the DFID UNICEF WASH project on water and sanitation as a government-owned program working in the interest of the citizens of this Country.
He said UNICEF associates itself with the government to ensure that development takes place for sustainable water supply as well as for the survival for our children with the collaboration of the Ministries of Health and Sanitation, Education and Gender and Children’s Affairs.
He encouraged the Councils to ensure proper sanitation in their various communities including schools and health facilities; hoping that by 2012 they would achieve the desired goals.
The Chief Engineer of the Ministry of Energy and Power, Wusum Koroma in his statement underscored the importance of water and sanitation in the socio-economic development of the Country.