Sierra Leone, 22 villages go ‘Open Defecation Free’ in Kenema

The community led total sanitation (C.L.T.S) has certified twenty-two communities in the Kandu Leppiama Chiefdom in Kenema District as ‘open defecation free’ zones. This followed an extensive community cleaning exercise climaxed by the construction of their own latrines out of local materials for the control of human faeces. The project is being organized by the Muloma Womesn’s Development Association (MUWODA), jointly supported by UNICEF and the District Health Management Team.

The ODF celebration attracted dignitaries from the Kenema District Council, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, representatives from NGOs and a host of others.

The program manager for MUWODA, Jeneba Nyallay said the existence of MUWODA as an entity is to promote the cultural, political and socio-economic status of rural women. “The vision of our organization is to initiate and undertake activities that can contribute to the improvement of the status of women and children,” she opined. She however noted that such can only be achieved through increase in food production, skills training, peace building efforts and advocacy for women’s rights and as well as the protection of disadvantaged children in society.

Giving a brief overview of their activities, Madam Nyallay said from 2002 to present they have undertaken skills training activities in gara, tie dyeing, tailoring, hairdressing and embroidery among others, adding that about 150 youths are currently engaged in metal works, carpentry Rights Act of 2007

On behalf of KCC, Chief Administrator Charlie Kallon who chaired the celebration expressed thanks and appreciations to MUWODA, the District Health Management Team, and other NGOs for reviving the CLTS which he said had become dormant since the war broke out in 1991. He appealed to the community people to take good care and maintain the newly constructed latrines.

MUWODA programme coordinator Samuel Bangali described the association as a female led organization that has over the years embarked on social work in both Kenema and Kailahun Districts by empowering rural women to be self reliant in their various communities. he said the organisation has succeeded in bringing women groups together, though he lamented on the high level of illiteracy among women posing a limitation to their ability to assume leadership roles in society.

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