By ELIZABETH MIAE
LOCALS in Eastern Highlands have taken ownership of poor sanitation in the remote areas and are working to improve the conditions with assistance from the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (RWSSP).
According to Tony Kei, the programme coordinator for the volunteer teams, the Dunatina local level government (LLG) in the Henganofi district is set to become the first open defecation-free LLG in the country through the implementation of the community-led total sanitation project (CLTS).
He said once they completed the training workshops in Dunatina, they planned to move onto another two LLGs in Henganofi, then to Okapa and Kainantu districts to promote the CLTS.
Kei said in his report that there was a lot of good response from the villages visited with many requesting for more training and visits and assistance to build toilets and have water supplied to their communities.
He stated that a lot of people had begun to realise the importance of using proper toilets and washing of hands to prevent diseases.
Kei said that the trainings had helped the people identify their health needs and some villagers had chosen to become volunteers to spread the message elsewhere in the province.
“We sacrifice to make awareness throughout this entire LLG.
“We know we are not the mandated personnel like health workers who are paid but we are visiting each community at a time in each ward and there is a lot of support and people are interested,” Zoi Sine, a volunteer, said.
“When I was asked by Tony Kei to team up with the group in this mission, I said I will go because I want to see my community change into a modern and better place for all to enjoy,” Joyce Katro, another volunteer, said.