Civil societies call for reliable public toilets to eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases

Civil societies call for reliable public toilets to eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases

For several time, Residents of Kigali city have been voicing the concerns of insufficient and unreliable public toilets in some public places in the Kigali city and other parts of the country.

They cite that Water, sanitation and hygiene services have some gaps in Kigali, posing them to worry about NTDs infections.

The concerns were volumed on November 22, when Rwanda’s joined the world to celebrate the international “World Toilets Day”, leaving a challenge to government and partners to conduct intervention in mobilizing hygiene and sanitation.

According to Residents who talked to Rwanda Sun, the current few toilets that are found in public places of Kigali have substandard materials and poor monitoring.

“Some toilets are very dirty leading them to be infectious. They are not hygienically well monitored which brings worries”. Said a resident found in Remera. He added that, particularly ladies largely hesitate to use them fearing to get infected.

Though the City of Kigali has encouraged the private sector to invest in constructing public toilets and charge fees as business and to eliminate the shortage, though residents, however still find it unfair to be charged for this service.

” It is a big challenge to charge for this service and even end up being infected. Imagine being on the queue at the bank and then you have to cross the road to find a toilet and be charged money. Toilets should be the first essential service that the banks must provide to their customers”. Said Ayinkaime, a resident of Kigali.
Claude Siborurema added that, there are cases where someone struggles when he doesn’t money for the service.

According to George Bagabo, The Executive Director of WASHNET RWANDA, a coalition of 13 NGOs working on water, sanitation, and hygiene, he said that WASH services should be available and affordable for the public.

” There are also some homes without toilets or with substandard toilets. This also bring concerns to hygiene and sanitation. In most cases some people do not wash their hands after using the toilet”. He cautioned.

Paul Murenzi who leads ARDE- KUBAHO, an organization that focuses on hygiene and sanitation added that “World Toilets Day” matters.

He called the government authorities and civil societies for public awareness on the hygiene and sanitation.

What the City of Kigali is working on?

Following the calls, the City of Kigali (CoK) plans to build new public toilets in 80 designated locations to enhance sanitation and hygiene in the capital.

City of Kigali Mayor, Pudence Rubingisa, said on November 22, 2023, that the 80 new public toilets will be completed by 2025.

Currently, there are 27 public toilets in the main corridors, markets, and taxi parks. Fuel stations have also been ordered to have public toilets.

So far, he said, 75 petrol stations have public toilets while seven new public toilets were constructed in Kimironko, Gisementi, Rebero, and Karama.

He added that at least five new public toilets are under construction.

As reference, the recent population census 2022, only 72 homes in Rwanda have standard toilets but 44% are found in the cities, pointin out gaps in rural areas. Recent findings by Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) revealed that washing hands with soap can reduce STDs at 40%.
Paul Murenzi president of ARDE- KUBAHO
George Bagabo, The Executive Director of WASHNET RWANDA




Johnson NDEKEZI is a Journalist covering all topics in the Entertainment World as well as Political and current Affairs.

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