Monday, October 07, 2013

Namwala DC underscores chiefs' role in development
By Wayilinda Phiri in Namwala
Wed 11 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT

NAMWALA district commissioner Gevar Nsanzya says the success and sustainability of any community progra-mme requires the involvement of traditional and civic leaders, who are the link to the electorate in their respective wards and villages.

During the official opening of a two-day workshop for Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) organised by the Namwala District Water Sanitation Hygiene Education (DWASHE) committee, funded by the local government ministry, in conjunction with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), which targeted councillors, heads of government departments and the four chiefs for Namwala namely chief Nalubamba, chief Mungaila, chief Muchila and chief Mukobela, Nsanzya appealed to health technologists and community champions to work with traditional leaders to mobilise the community for quick progress and development of CLTS programmes in the district.

He said the government, with support from UNICEF and DANIDA, had made a commitment to ensure that good sanitation and hygiene in communities are observed.

Nsanzya said the CLTS methodology was currently being used to improve rural water and sanitation, and was operational in most chiefdoms of Zambia.

The programme stresses the need to uphold hygiene practices such as construction of simple and affordable latrines, washing of hands and access to clean drinking water.

Nsanzya said the training workshop was very important because the chiefs were expected to develop an action plan with the support of the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs and other district government departments, together with the District Water Sanitation Hygiene (DWASHE) members to ensure the remaining three chiefdoms are open defecation-free (ODF).

He pointed out that the support of traditional leadership had seen great success in Namwala, particularly chief Mukobela's chiefdom, which had attained the ODF status, and the district would soon celebrate their achievements, and the Ministry of Health, Community Development and Mother and Child Health and the Chiefs and Traditional Affairs had organised a national ODF celebration on September 20, 2013 in chief Mukobela's area.

Meanwhile, Namwala district council chief public health officer Mangwato Munachilau said there had been an increase in the number of community champions trained in the district so that they cover vast areas of the district and that UNICEF had provided the necessary resources for training in order to meet MDG number 7.

And Namwala district public health officer Innocent Hamuganyu said the district had recorded a reduction in diarrhoea-related diseases since the inception of the CLTS programme.

He further said the district wa s lobbying to have a fast-track court at the Namwala council to quickly dispose of cases for the legal enforcement component of CLTS.

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