Zambia, 30 July 2012: UNICEF honours HRH Chief Macha for Community-Led Total 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.”
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.
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.
For further information, please contact:
Mark Maseko, Communications Officer, UNICEF Zambia, Tel: +260/211.374200, ext. 2024, firstname.lastname@example.org
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