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Zambia, 30 July 2012: UNICEF honours HRH Chief Macha for Community-Led Total Sanitation

© UNICEF Zambia/2012/Smith
UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mr Elhadj As Sy congratulates His Royal Highness Chief Macha of Choma at his nomination as a UNICEF supporter for his efforts in improving sanitation.

LUSAKA, Zambia, 30 July 2012 - UNICEF Zambia has named His Royal Highness Chief Macha of Choma a Supporter for Sanitation for his contribution to the success of Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), a UNICEF-supported strategy to attain the Millennium Development Goals by increasing sustainable access to sanitation.

At a colourful ceremony in Choma last weekend attended by senior government officials, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Elhadj As Sy, declared: “In recognition of his leadership and contribution, UNICEF Zambia wishes that His Royal Highness Chief Macha, of Macha Chiefdom in Choma District, be honoured as a UNICEF Zambia Supporter for Sanitation.”

© UNICEF Zambia/2012/Smith
UNICEF’s RD for Eastern and Southern Africa, As Sy and the Zambian Minister of Local Government and Housing, Professor Luo enjoy the celebrations at HRH Chief Macha of Choma's nomination as a UNICEF supporter for his efforts in improving sanitation.

CLTS is a community-based strategy where villages and urban neighbourhoods work together to adopt improved sanitation and hygienic practices and construct their own latrines.

Through Chief Macha’s efforts, his chiefdom doubled sanitation coverage in from 50 percent to 100 percent in less than 2 years, attaining Open Defecation Free (ODF) status in November 2009, and becoming the first chiefdom in Africa to be so recognized. Thanks to Chief Macha’s influence, other areas in the country are attaining ODF status, including the neighbouring Mapanza Chiefdom in Choma.

In his remarks, Chief Macha explained that CLTS encourages community members to map their neighborhood, marking houses, schools, churches, and shops, plus areas where defecation occurs. Wherever faeces are located, they are collected and a “Walk of Shame” through the village takes place.

“They come quickly to understand that they are eating with unsafe sanitation practices,” Chief Macha said.

As Sy thanked the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development who earlier signed an agreement with UNICEF Zambia to support the government’s WASH program  to the tune of £19 million (152 trillion Zambian Kwacha) over four years. This will enable 3 million people including 500,000 school children in rural Zambia to gain access to improved sanitation.

As Sy also acknowledged the Government of Netherlands for supporting local water and sanitation initiatives.

UNICEF Zambia Representative Dr. Iyorlumun J. Uhaa said UNICEF was proud and excited that Chief Macha had become the first Zambian to be officially named a UNICEF Supporter.

“Since 2007, when CLTS was first introduced in Zambia, Chief Macha has used his influence to help change the mind-set of his people,” Uhaa said.
Last October, Chief Macha was decorated by Zambian President Michael Chilufya Sata, receiving the title Officer of the Order of Distinguished Service for his work in promoting CLTS.

Minister of Local Government and Housing Prof. Nkandu Luo and Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Emerine Kabanshi were among the attendees at the packed event.

About UNICEF:
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations, and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org and www.unicef.org/zambia.

For further information, please contact:
Patrick Slavin, Chief, Communications, UNICEF Zambia, Tel: +260/211.374200, ext.2020, pslavin@unicef.org

Mark Maseko, Communications Officer, UNICEF Zambia, Tel: +260/211.374200, ext. 2024, mmaseko@unicef.org

 

 
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