CIBITOKE May 17th (ABP) – The Ministry of Energy and Mines, through the Burundi Rural Hydraulics and Sanitation Agency (AHAMR), embarked on a project to implement the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach to address the sanitation sector challenge in Burundi in general and in Rugombo commune of Cibitoke province (northwestern Burundi) in particular.

This project, which is funded by UNICEF, aims to achieve and maintain the “End of Open Defecation” status. Activities to build family latrines and raise awareness of good hygienic practices without any subsidy given to households took place in favor of the 17 villages of Rugombo commune.

Celebration ceremonies for achieving the end of open defecation status were held at the headquarters of Rugombo commune on Monday May 13, 2019 and were enhanced by the Minister of Energy and Mines, Mr. Côme Manirakiza, who was accompanied by the Assistant Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS, as well as executives of the two ministries.

In his speech, Minister Manirakiza said that the day was organized to recognize the results from the CLTS project and to celebrate the end of open defecation in Rugombo commune, which in the past frequently experienced cases of cholera and other diseases related to dirty hands.

Water networks and 32 standpipes were built with UNICEF funding, while the number of households with family latrines in Rugombo commune increased from 400 to 24,850, Minister Manirakiza said. He urged people to move forward on hygiene and sanitation to eradicate dirty hand related diseases and cholera forever.

As for the assistant minister in charge of public health, Dr. Joselyne Nsanzerugeze, she commended the fact that people of Rugombo managed to change hygiene and sanitation behavior following the sensitization by 60 community health workers trained by the AHAMR. Rugombo is the 22nd commune of Burundi where the majority of its people have already built family latrines without external subsidies, said the assistant minister in charge of public health.

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