Monday, May 29, 2017
Total visitors: 168090

According to data from the 2015 household census, 40,000 people in Timor-Leste (32%) still defecate in public as they don’t have access to a toilet.

According to data from the 2015 household census, 40,000 people in Timor-Leste (32%) still defecate in public as they don’t have access to a toilet.

While the numbers have declined since the 2010 census, which showed that 39% of the population was publicly defecating, more work still needs to be done to ensure every community has access to toilets.

However, head of Sanitation and Environmental Health Tomasia de Sousa acknowledged that many communities were powerless because they lacked access to clean water and were unable to build adequate toilets.

“We need to strengthen their (communities) conscience, particularly in accessing water because adequate sanitation requires clean water,” she said after participating at an event to mark World Toilet Day at the Comoro National Health Institute in Dili.

She said the government faced significant challenges in meeting the targets set out in the 2030 national strategic plan and the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs), which both state that all Timorese people should have access to toilets and clean water.

The Ministry of Health has integrated sanitation, hygiene, and environment issues within its family health program. This means responsibility for raising awareness among communities about the health implications of public defecation now rests with visiting health personnel.

She said people who lived in a non-hygienic environment were at risk of infectious disease, particularly children, with 58% of disease, including diarrhea, caused by poor sanitation.

Meanwhile, WaterAid officer Gertrudis Noviana Mau said water shortages were a major problem faced by many communities and meant toilets were not always sustainable.

She said WaterAid had established a community plumbing program, but was only working in Liquica and Covalima municipalities due to funding limitations.

“When we talk about sanitation, particularly being able to go to the toilet with dignity, women suffer a lot, so we try to educate them so that they will ask their husband to build a toilet,” she said.

As part of the program, she said WaterAid was helping to facilitate the construction of toilets in communities by providing access to inexpensive and good quality materials.

WaterAid is an international organization that has been running programs in Timor-Leste since 2007 focused on hygiene education, including water and sanitation.

  • Fri
    May
    12
    2017
    Health personnel seize nutrition supplement packs
    Health personnel from the Comoro Health Center (SSC) have seized 30 packs of a food supplement used for malnutrition after it was resold to a kiosk in Dili. Health personnel from the Comoro Health ...
  • Fri
    May
    12
    2017
    HIV still a big threat for the future of Timor
    Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Combating the HIV/AIDS Timor-Leste (KNKS-TL) Daniel Marçal said HIV was a significant threat for the country’s human resources in the future. KNKS...
  • Fri
    May
    05
    2017
    National hospital not yet able to treat stage 4 cancer
    The National Hospital’s Clinical Director, Flavio Brandão, said the hospital did not yet have the capacity to treat stage 3 and 4 cancers. National Hospital’s Clinical Director, Flavio Brandão, sai...
  • Fri
    May
    05
    2017
    Gota water production meets international health standards
    The National Director for Water and Sanitation (DNSA), Rui de Sousa, said the water brand Gota was safe to drink and met World Health Organization (WHO) standards. The company’s owner, Nilton Gusmã...
  • Fri
    May
    05
    2017
    Suku police officers receive IT training
    The National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) has provided IT training for suku (village) officers (OPS) to help improve their level of understanding. MP Albina Marçal said she considered the training ...

E-mail Subscription

Enter your email address:

Poll

Nothing found!

Follow us on Twitter