At the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the Samoan concept of a garden toilet has been adopted.
“Twelve garden toilets around Samoa are in place; 8 in Upolu and 4 in Savaii, including the two new garden toilets at Vailima and Fagafau.”
“For today’s programme, we welcome everyone to witness the launching of a Documentary on Garden Toilets in Samoa, action poem competitions by the selected women’s committee on the theme of this event as we continue to encourage each and every one to place importance on looking after our toilets,” he said.
Samoa celebrated the 6th National Sanitation Day yesterday jointly with the world in commemoration of the World Toilet Day, with the theme “Theme- Toilets for All - Leaving no one behind”.
“We will also have a presentation of awards for the contractors and organisations who have and continued to maintain the public lavatory facilities in both Upolu and Savaii. We need to understand the implications of our actions on our health and environment, as well as considering our obligations for our future generations,” said Tuilaepa.
He added the initiative was possible after a discussion six years ago.
“In 2014, I met with Tuifalevao Jack Sim, the founder of the World Toilet Day, during his visit to Samoa to discuss initiatives to further emphasize the importance of looking after toilets in Samoa. As the Chairman for the National Beautification Committee (NBC), this is in line with the role of the NBC, particularly in relation to the quarterly inspections of public lavatories.”
Tuilaepa said for Samoa as a whole, the percentage of the population using an improved latrine (sanitation facility) is 97% based on the survey findings in the WASH Baseline Survey in 2015.
“The joint efforts of the Water and Sanitation Sector through its Sanitation Subsector comprised of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, Samoa Water Authority, Independent Water Schemes, Samoa Tourism Authority, Samoa Red Cross Society, Plumbers Association of Samoa, and the sector stakeholders towards the improvement of basic sanitation, hygiene practices and proper management of wastewater, have made some notable improvements to population access to improved sanitation facilities, improvements in hygiene practices and increase of septic tanks built within acceptable standards just to name a few and on-going programs such as the maintenance of public toilets, biogas systems and sludge facilities all of which help raise awareness and to celebrate Samoa’s contribution to the World Toilet Day. These efforts are part of the Sector's commitment towards the realization of its Long Term Outcome in providing "reliable, clean and affordable water and improved sanitation within the framework of Integrated Water Resources Management for a resilient Samoa, sustaining health and alleviating poverty," Tuilaepa said.
Photo supplied Government Media Caption: Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi