Two informal settlements on verge of Open Defecation Free status

Major milestone

16 March 2021 | Social Issues

Windhoek • [email protected]

Two communities at the outskirts of Windhoek are anxiously waiting to hear if they have achieved open defecation free (ODF) status, a possible first for a Windhoek informal settlement.
Last week Nalitungwe and Hadino Hinshongwa informal settlements welcomed a team of national ODF inspectors to showcase the progress they have made since 2019 to improve sanitation and cleanliness in their communities.
In late 2020, both communities were able to self-verify their areas as ODF, the first step in the process to obtain official certification.
Following on-the-ground inspections last week by the national ODF committee, the community is waiting with bated breath for the results. If successful, their ODF status will mark a major milestone for Windhoek informal settlements, lighting the way for other communities to follow in their hard-working steps.
Informal settlements in Namibia have long faced municipal neglect, with residents forced to use open spaces such as riverbeds and other remote spaces as toilets.
Lack of water and electricity, basic hand-washing facilities, exposure to heat and cold, lack of safety and security, are hallmarks of life in informal settlements.
With no basic hand-washing facilities and human defecation taking place in open spaces situated amid the sprawling settlements, hepatitis-E spread fast, engulfing the communities since 2017.

“In Nalitungwe, the basic cleanliness of the community has improved dramatically in terms of waste management and sanitation,” Foibe Silvanus, the Moses Garoeb CLTS coordinator, said last week. “They understand they need to build and share toilets. General hygiene has improved. Previously rubbish was all over, toilet paper in the riverbed. But now, we are proud to say the community have obtained an understanding of living in a clean environment.”
She underlined that the facelift has not only improved general hygiene and cleanliness in the neighbourhoods but has reduced cases of illness, especially diarrhoea among children and hepatitis-E.
Berthold Haingura, the CLTS coordinator for Samora Machel constituency, says the communities have affected a dramatic transformation. “You can see the change of before and after. They have built their own sanitation facilities, and the waste is managed with a new dumpsite.”
The municipality sends a truck once a week to collect the rubbish, another milestone for the community.
Haingura pointed to a riverbed nearby, that is crossed every day by children and adults, but was previously filled with rubbish, including human faeces. “It was so disgusting, you could not cross here. The CLTS intervention has brought these changes, where people manage their waste. It’s a great job.”
Haingura underlined that an ODF certification would have a ripple effect, motivating other communities to push for their own ODF status.

To be declared ODF, all households have to have access to a clean toilet built according to specification, in addition to a hand-washing facility next to it. Other requirements include environments free of human faeces and rubbish, sewage water and general cleanliness.
The CLTS campaigns were first launched in 2019 by the Development Workshop Namibia (DWN) together with Namibia Chamber of Environment (NCE) and technical support from UNICEF alongside community leaders and volunteers from Moses //Garoeb and Samora Machel.
CLTS uses a community bottom-up approach to sensitise informal residents of the dangers of open defecation and to encourage the construction of latrines and rubbish dumps, as well as overall hygiene.
CLTS community volunteers played a crucial role, visiting households advising them on hygiene and sanitation, while the DWN built demonstration sanitation centres to help residents understand the requirements to build their own toilets.
DWN project coordinator Sheya Timo Gotlieb says the community alongside their CLTS partners are excited to hear the outcome of the verification process.
“It has been a very successful transformation for them. They live here, they travel to other communities and see the difference between their block and the other areas. I think it will be a moment of pride.”

Similar News


US support for HIV facilities

1 week ago - 05 May 2021 | Social Issues

To continue increasing access to HIV services for all people in Namibia, the US Embassy in Namibia has supported the opening of two HIV testing...

Building assistance for Okuryangava orphanage

1 week ago - 30 April 2021 | Social Issues

Building material valued at N$50 000 was handed over to the Okuryangava Children’s Home by RND Holdings on Thursday (29 April).The home houses around twenty...

Cash support for SPCA

2 weeks ago - 27 April 2021 | Social Issues

The Olympia Eye and Laser Clinic sold face masks to clients, with all proceeds dedicated to the SPCA. In this way, N$16 650 was raised...

Teenage pregnancies, abuse discussed

2 weeks ago - 23 April 2021 | Social Issues

An open dialogue was held in Windhoek on Thursday to discuss the causes and frameworks in place to strengthen efforts to reduce learner pregnancies and...

Struggle kids ‘stigmatised’

2 weeks ago - 22 April 2021 | Social Issues

Children of the liberation struggle, also known as ‘struggle kids’, feel it is hard for them to secure employment outside government, because there is a...

Seeing the future

3 weeks ago - 20 April 2021 | Social Issues

Tanja Wilckens of Pro-Specs and Marlize Hall of African Eyes Optometrist donated their time to performing eye-screenings on 53 learners of N/a’an ku sê Primary...

Head of UNAIDS meets DREAMS girls

3 weeks ago - 15 April 2021 | Social Issues

The executive director of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), Winnie Byanyima, recently visited beneficiaries of the US-funded DREAMS project in...

Small increase for GIPF pensioners

4 weeks ago - 14 April 2021 | Social Issues

The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) announced a 3% pension benefit increase, effective 1 April 2021 for all GIPF pensioners.In a media release, the GIPF...

In love with Dairy Love

1 month - 01 April 2021 | Social Issues

Namibia Media Holdings’ staff recently collected funds with support of Namibia Dairy’s latest product, Dairy Love, to donate to the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN)....

Taking hands with MealForTwo

1 month - 24 March 2021 | Social Issues

Food security in Namibia remains a big concern and the need for assistance is increasing as more families find themselves in a desperate situation brought...

Latest News

Chill with Windhoek Express

22 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Recurring events• 07:00 Bio-Markt / Green Market at the Stephanus Church (Dr Kenneth Kaunda Street) in Windhoek until 12:00.• 08:30 The weekly Inspire Market features...

Government in catch 22 on...

22 hours ago | Local News

While acknowledging that the majority of Namibians rely on the national broadcaster for information, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila conceded that government cannot meet its employees’...

Murorua takes over BAN reigns

1 day - 12 May 2021 | Banking

The Bankers Association of Namibia (BAN) announced that Nedbank chief executive Martha Murorua has taken over the reigns as chair from Ester Kali, CEO of...

Bowling on a roll

1 day - 12 May 2021 | Sports

Namibia Bowling Association (NBA) president Michael Wells has expressed his pleasure at the improved performance of players at the recently held Namibia National Bowling Championships.The...

Virtual international training for local...

1 day - 12 May 2021 | Sports

Eight Namibian soccer coaches will take part in an international instructor’s course organised by the German Football Federation and Botswana Football Association to help improve...

Old Mutual under ‘10 strongest...

1 day - 12 May 2021 | Business

The 2021 Brand Finance report has ranked Old Mutual in the top 10 strongest brands, as well as in the top 100 most valuable insurance...

Fire safety measures every homeowner...

1 day - 11 May 2021 | Disasters

The recent blaze that unfolded along the Cape’s iconic Table Mountain was a reminder of the very real threat fire poses to homeowners. It is...

Conservancy feeds their own children

1 day - 11 May 2021 | Society

For a second consecutive year, members of the N≠a Jaqna Conservancy are using part of their income to provide food to all registered schools and...

More support of Nam’s sustainable...

1 day - 11 May 2021 | Infrastructure

Namibia’s finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi and German ambassador Herbert Beck signed an agreement on financial cooperation for loans between the two countries earlier this week.The...

Load More