Is Open Defecation a national problem in Kenya?
Yes. Open Defecation is a big problem in many counties in Kenya. It is estimated that 12.5% of the 1.2 million people (possibly more) in Kisumu County practice open defecation. This means that they do not have toilets and latrines for safe disposal of human waste.
Open Defecation is estimated to cost Kenya a total of Ksh. 8.8 billion every year. I urge you to think twice every time you feel the urge to run to the bush for your short or long call. Your simple and sometimes innocent action of of responding to a call of nature may be sending people to hospital for treatment of diseases which could have been avoided.
We are informed that Kisumu County in collaboration with UNICEF are working towards reducing Open Defecation (OD) in the county.
Open Defecation has a potential of causing disease outbreaks such as cholera among others.
Open Defecation is not a unique problem for Kisumu County alone. It is a national problem. This is why the Ministry of Health came up with a national campaign against Open Defecation.
The campaign's slogan was Choo Changu Heshima Yangu which loosely translates "My Toilet, My Dignity."