Saturday, 3 May 2008

Rural sanitation needs improvement

Sanitation in the rural areas has not improved much despite concerted efforts by concerned authorities.

This was revealed at a stake holder’s workshop on sanitation status in rural Bhutan. Health officials said the rural water supply coverage is remarkable. However they said the program aimed at improving sanitation in rural areas has not been as successful.

The Director General of the Department of Medical Services Dr. Dorji Wangchuk said Bhutan has achieved about 90 percent rural water supply coverage. However, he said despite concerted efforts, child mortality from diseases resulting from poor sanitation has not decreased. He said people in rural areas still suffer from respiratory infections.

Ugyen Rinzin, the Executive Engineer of the Public Health Division of the Department of Health said the Ministry of Health alone cannot improve the sanitation in the country. He said the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program will focus more on rural sanitation in the 10th Five Year Plan.

During the two day workshop, participants will identify the success, shortcomings, and challenges of improving sanitation in rural Bhutan.

The workshop is being organized by the Public Health Engineering Division of the Department of Public Health with financial assistance from SNV.

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