RUYIGI October 26th (ABP) – The director of health promotion, healthcare demand, community and environmental health, within the Ministry of Public Health and the fight against AIDS, Dr. Jean Marius Ndavyengenge calls the people of Ruyigi to permanent abandonment and the fight against open defecation. That appeal was launched on Saturday, October 22, 2022, in Gisuru commune, during the closing of the activities of a project to train the population of that commune on the construction of latrines worthy of the name in order to promote community health.
During that so-called farewell ceremony to open defecation, by the people of the Nyabitare zone of Gisuru commune, Dr. Ndavyengenge said that the absence or non-effective use of latrines is like a bomb delayed for the concerned people.
Indeed, he pointed out, for rural households such as those in the Nyabitare zone, the faeces scattered near the house are sometimes buried by poultry and other small ruminants, not to mention flies which mix them with the daily meal and that as a result, human beings start eating their own waste without knowing it.
Same scenario when the same litter is on high altitude mountains and watersheds. He explained that when the torrential rains carry that waste to the swamps and other water sources and the man goes to draw water, then consumes this water without boiling it or consumes the fruits and vegetables without cleaning them with drinking water, he also begins to consume human excrement and also exposes himself to very serious health problems including diseases of dirty hands such as cholera, bacillary dysentery and others.
That authority from the Ministry of Public Health also indicated that there is no lasting positive change when you build toilets to the required standards but forget to wash your hands and drink drinking water. He took the opportunity to congratulate this population, which had just completed more than a semester of training and follow-up of the implementation by building toilets and hand washing points with drinking water.
The director of the health province of Ruyigi, Dr. Léopold Ndikuriyo congratulated the people of the Nyabitare zone who had just carried out this rite nicknamed ”Kuganduka” in the national language, which can be translated as the end of final mourning after having buried this bad and ancient practice of defecating on mountains and other open spaces. As for the progress made through the training given, this doctor indicated that this community is now very enlightened in community-led total sanitation and serves as a pilot and guide for the surrounding localities who have had no luck. to learn how to build toilets that meet the required standards and handwashing points to prevent diseases from dirty hands. He further specified that this training was provided by the provincial health directorate of Ruyigi through the health district of Gisuru financially supported by the NGO World Vision Burundi. As for the statistics related to this development, this authority noted that before the said training the people who own latrines was only 32% but that it rose to 90.9%. It was 27% for water points called HONYORUKARABE in the national language, but it is now 89%. Those people are challenged not to back down from that step already taken.