UNICEF is working to increase the use of toilets in Solomon Islands and educate community leaders about the importance of sanitation.
UNICEF Pacific Representative, Mr Sheldon Yett recently visited Malaita Province and stated that villages were making good progress with, not only building more toilets, but understanding the positive impact on child health.
Sheldon Yett said Solomon Islands has one of the highest rates of open defecation in the Pacific, at 33 percent.
He said education within and between communities is a vital part of addressing the issue.
"It involves having toilets but it involves people taking responsibility for those toilets. It involves people understanding what the cost is if they don't have the toilets. It's just as much about communication and getting the idea out and community and peer pressure, as it is about facilities. Facilities are only half the battle, you need both."
Sheldon Yett said if good hygiene and sanitation is not available then children will get sick. The UNICEF team saw great understanding and innovation from communities in Malaita in collaborating to build toilets.
UNICEF is aiming to end open defecation throughout Solomon Islands.