First ‘No Open Defacation’ village in N/Malaita declared

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A first village in North Malaita to be declared ‘No Open Defecation’ has been declared on Saturday.

The achievement of Keru village means that every single member of the community ensures humans do not come into contact with faeces, by stopping defecating in the open, through the usage of proper toilets that stops flies and washing their hands with water and soap.

The Senior Health administration office for the Northern Region, Davidson Rara, and Provincial Health Director, Dr Henry Kako, joined the Director of Environmental Health Division, Tom Nanau, to congratulate the leaders and members of Keru with a ribbon cutting celebration yesterday.

A signboard will be erected at the entrance to the village to signify the achievement and to inform others visiting the villages of what is expected.

The community of Keru started working with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services’ Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) program in November 2016.

CLTS is a demand-driven approach as required by the National Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Policy, approved by cabinet in 2014.

It builds the capacity for villages to lead the process, discover and learn about their own sanitation practices, and the impact it has on their health and welfare.

Each household in the village have achieved this by themselves with no materials or subsidies provided, to eliminate open defecation.

The “No Open Defecation” status, awarded by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, means that all people in Keru are using a proper toilet that stops flies and has a place to wash hands with water and soap after use.

Since the CLTS program started in the Solomon Islands, around 50 villages have participated in the program, and Keru now joined seven other villages that have been declared NOD by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

Villages that want to participate in the program can fill in a sanitation request from the Environmental Health Division of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

Having proper sanitation is an important development step that is a part of Solomon Islands campaign to ensure healthy lifestyle.