Kenya: 115 Deaths Hourly From Poor Sanitation, New Study Reveals


About 115 people die every hour from excreta-related diseases in Africa and huge economic losses, a new study has shown.

As the world marked World Toilet Day, the new research by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), notes that poor sanitation continues to pose major health, environmental and socioeconomic risks in many African countries like Kenya.

Human excreta and the lack of adequate personal and domestic hygiene are responsible for the transmission of many infectious diseases such as cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, polio, and schistosomiasis among others.

Faecal contamination causes an annual average of 3,500 cases of cholera in Kenya. However, the cost of an effective water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) response is estimated to be Sh241 million (USD 2.2 million) per year in Kenya.

Faecal sludge management is the collection, transport, and treatment of faecal sludge from pit latrines, septic tanks or other onsite sanitation systems.

Faecal management

“The scale and threat of poor faecal sludge management can be turned on its head if we look at the government and business opportunities that can galvanise real change in health and livelihoods in marginalized communities in countries struggling with poor sanitation,” said Dr Habib El-Habr, Coordinator of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA) at UNEP.