By Confidente Reporter
AN environmental agency, WaterAid recently made a startling disclosure that over 1 million Namibians, approximately one third of the nation’s population practice open defecation as a result of lack of access to proper sanitation such as toilets.
It is also revealed that 900 000 people -which is equivalent to 45.5 percent of the population- who live in towns and cities have no choice but to defecate in the open using roadsides and plastic bags dubbed flying toilets.
Overflowing Cities report examines that the state of urban sanitation around the world as an issue that is becoming more pressing as two-thirds of the global population is reportedly expected to live in towns and cities by 2050. This year’s programme was under the theme, ‘The State of the World’s Toilets 2016’ with focus on how sanitation or the lack of it can impact people’s livelihoods.
Namibia is ranked sixth in the world and worst in Sub-Saharan Africa for having the most urban-dwellers living without safe, private toilets. Namibia has an extremely rapid rural to urban migration, however, economic development is and urban planning have not kept pace with the sheer volumes of people arriving and being born every day in the urban areas.
According to the report, Namibia is among the countries falling furthest behind in reaching people with urban sanitation. According to the report current evidence shows that working days lost due to poor sanitation cost the global economy approximately US$4 billion per year. Loss of productivity due to illnesses caused by lack of sanitation and poor hygiene practices is estimated to cost many countries up to five percent of GDP.
A lack of access to sanitation cost the world economy US$222.9 billion in 2015, up from US$182.5 billion in 2010, a rise of 22 percent in just five years.
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