Farm block sanitation through the eyes of a community champion

By Maswabi Precious Matantilo & Tumba Mupango on September 3, 2014 in News, Water and Sanitation Health

Laying on the Great North Road, North East of Kapiri Mposhi in Central province is Mkushi District. With a population of around 150,000, Mkushi is well known for its commercial farms. It has since become one of Zambia’s leading agricultural districts with a consistent bumper harvest of maize, soya beans, tobacco and wheat.

In spite of Mkushi’s addition to Zambia’s GDP, it faces a great challenge in ensuring adequate sanitation for its communities. The farm block areas are no exception as evidenced from what I saw as I travelled through selected parts of the district. One farm we visited was made up of 53 households with a population of 275, yet it shared just four latrines.

One might wonder how this comes to be. Farms are comprised of casual workers and permanent workers, but most farm owners build houses for only the permanent workers. The casual workers are forced to build their own houses and mostly do not build latrines. The housing is unplanned and is done in a temporary, disorderly manner. The workers move to the farms with their families, some farms hosting as many as 80 families.