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Flying toilets, open defection creeping back due to COVID-19 – survey says

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Flying toilets and open defecation could be creeping back among vulnerable communities as a way of coping with COVID-19 challenges, this is according to a survey conducted by research firm Infotrak.

According to the survey, two in every ten respondents in the study counties indicated that they have resorted to the aforementioned practises to cope with;

  1. Curfew restrictions so as to prevent use of eternal toilets,
  2. Fear of sharing crowded communal toilets, and
  3. Inadequate water supply.

Women in vulnerable communities

The survey which was conducted in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties also revealed that women and girls in the vulnerable communities have resorted to innovative ways to cope with lack of hygiene products amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A majority of the women have invented home production of soap (39%), use of rags instead of pads (36%), while 15% said they had reduced hand-washing and cleaning. Also, 12% have resorted to exchanging food for soap, 8% are using ash instead of soap.

2% of the respondents depend on donations from well-wishers to access the hygiene products.

Access to reliable water supply hampering fight against COVID-19

The survey has also said that inadequate supply of water could be hampering the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

According to the survey, only 40% of Nairobians claim to have access to piped water in their homes/dwellings despite being Kenya’s capital. Even more worrying is that 1/4 (25%) of Nairobi residents only get running water 1-2 times a week.

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