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Angola, 6 August 2014: Focus on sanitation enhancement to reduce child mortality

© UNICEF Angola
Population receiving certificate of community led free of defecation in Matala municipality, province of Huila.

6 August 2014, Luanda, Angola – To speed up the implementation of the Saneamento Total Liderado pela Comunidade (STLC) (Community Led Total Sanitation) approach, the Government of Angola, through the Unidade Técnica Nacional de Saneamento Ambiental (UTNSA) (Environmental Sanitation National Technical Unit), in partnership with UNICEF and the European Union, performed recently an “assessment and definition seminar on the implementation of the following steps within this initiative” on 31st July, at Lubango, Huíla province.

During this seminar, attendees also established strategies for the national expansion and sustainability of the initiative aiming to enhance access to sanitation as well as the reduction of child mortality.

In Angola, according to IBEP (2009 Population Welfare Survey) data, only 6 out of 10 Angolans have access to appropriate sanitation. Nationwide, 42 per cent of the population still defecates in open air, causing cholera epidemics and other oral-faecal communicable diseases, responsible for 23 per cent of the country child mortality.

"Access to sanitation is an essential condition for the protection of human health and dignity. It is a simple and key principle that should guide every government and community, aiming to protect children and their families from numerous health problems related to the unsafe containment of human waste, which favours the communication of diarrhoeal diseases, notably cholera, and other, like parasitic diseases, which contribute to children poor growth and asthenisation.", said Francisco Songane, UNICEF Representative in Angola.

Community Led Total Sanitation (STLC) is an initiative that promotes community behavioural and leadership change intended to create and use sanitation infrastructures and hygiene good practices, aiming to avoid the spread of cholera and other oral-faecal communicable diseases.

On account of the lack of access to proper sanitation and enough quality purified water, Angola yearly registers 1.4 to 2 million cases of diarrhoea, from which about one third in children under five years.

These data show the need to strengthen action to enhance access to sanitation, mainly greater financial allocation for the sanitation programs at national, province and local levels as well as the dissemination of information to the population on the importance of adopting sanitation and hygiene safe practices, for the sake of children and their families’ health. The later mainly requires community mobilisation through the media and the civil society, namely churches, associations, neighbourhood committees and traditional authorities.

“The lack of sanitation represents one of the major challenges to human development and environmental conservation. It is necessary to inform the population on the need for each one to participate in the maintenance of a clean, pleasant and healthy environment for the welfare of children and their families", declared the UNICEF Representative.

Since the beginning of its implementation, in 2008, the STLC approach reached about 750,000 people from 1,000 villages in 10 provinces. 110 of the targeted villages reached the free from open air defecation status, benefiting more than 200,000 people that already have and use privy pits or bathrooms.

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For additional information please contact:

Olívio Gambo, Communication Officer, UNICEF Angola, mobile. 923 614 857, email: ogambo@unicef.org

 

 
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