Leading traditional lyrics musician and poet, Mrisho Mpoto who is championing a countrywide campaign to have every household with a toilet, said over 30 million people in the country don’t have proper toilets hence stand vulnerable to diseases.
Speaking in Korogwe district of Tanga region, Mpoto said that about a third of children's deaths under the age of five are caused by poor sanitation in the country. He said the 300bn/- spent to treat people annually would otherwise be used in other development activities such as improving education, water supply, lending to higher education students and agricultural input supply.
"Experts say a house is incomplete without a proper toilet but in most circumstance among us this statement has remained mere words. My slogan is ‘Do not take it lightly, a modern house must have a toilet,” Mpoto said.
He said currently, statistics show that approximately 40 million people in the country have access to or own a mobile phone while only 10 million have access to a better toilet facility as required by international standards.
“In addition, it is estimated that less than 10 percent of Tanzanians use soap and clean water to wash their hands after leaving the toilet which is bad,” the celebrity artiste who is well known for his tradition story telling poems in music, added.
In order to deal with this challenge, deliberate efforts are needed to enhance the need for toilets and their proper use but also hand washing with soap after toilets, he noted.
National mobilization of trends in the proper use of sanitation which is coordinated by the Ministry of Health, Social Development, Gender, Elderly and Children is aimed to address this challenge.
"There is a greater need for experts including health officers to ensure that sensitization and mobilization of households to have better toilets,” he noted. Under the Ministry of Health program, the government targets to ensure that every household has a decent toilet by December this year.