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Thursday, 8 December 2011

Businesses closed in Sipili due to spewing toilet.

By L.R.V correspondent 

 Small scale traders in Sipili are counting losses after they were ordered to close down their shops, kiosks and open air market due to lack of sanitary facilities. The divisional public health officer gave the directive after noticing a discharge from a filled up public toilet. Grocery traders, milk bars and food kiosk operators were hard hit by the directive. 
Spoiled stock thrown out on the road side
  The single public toilet in town is not only in bad shape but also filled up. Splash water is discharging waste into the open! Human excrete is washed downstream, following heavy downpour, putting the lives of hundreds of people in danger of contracting diseases. The eight feet toilet built over 15 years ago, serves an estimated population of 200 traders and community members on daily basis and another over two thousand every market day.

 Traders painfully narrated their agony to Laikipia Rural Voice (LRV) on Thursday. The weight of the matter on their daily livelihoods could not be underestimated. Mama Kelly who sells fresh produce like bananas, kales (Sukumawiki), Oranges and mangoes, lamented the loss of her daily income, saying that her fresh stock will go bad in the next few hours. She recounted how the issue will affect her family’s income saying that she has not paid for the milk she usually receive from a farmer in the morning, because she has not sold anything!

 Three quarters of the shops remained closed, as traders sat in groups chatting sorrowfully in low tones. Women who received health risk warning from the public health officer supported the action, but urged the county council to built another toilet ‘‘County council is squarely to blame for their laxity’’ said one trader who sought anonymity. Traders took issue with the county council saying that they collect levies sometimes by force but little services are rendered to them. 

Toilets issue; a matter of concern world over.
  In 2001 WTO declared 19th November World Toilet Day (WTD). Today it is celebrated in over 19 countries with over 51 events being hosted by various water and sanitation advocates. 

World Toilet Organisation created WTD to raise global awareness of the struggle 2.6 billion face every day without access to proper, clean sanitation.WTD also brings to the forefront the health, emotional and psychological consequences the poor endure as a result of inadequate sanitation.

Though the WTD's popularity is gaining momentum, the event was not marked in Sipili as it happened in about twenty other countries. In Singapore, over 600 squatters joined the cause in six locations island-wide. ‘‘If promoted sufficiently, the day will become "The" event that represents the sanitation crisis globally, and we strongly encourage our members, volunteers, the community, media and partners to get behind our cause and support our day’’- quart from WTO website- .

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