The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) will join the rest of the world to observe World Toilet Day to raise awareness about the lack of proper sanitation to 2.5 billion people worldwide.
The campaign also aims to highlight the profound impact of the sanitation crisis in a rigorous manner and to bring to the forefront the health and emotional consequences as well as the economic impact of inadequate sanitation.
DWS in the Northern Cape has made great strides in addressing this challenge which can largely be attributed to the policies implemented by erstwhile government.
In the Pixley ka Seme District Municipality a total of 1 401 bucket toilets were eradicated in an effort to address the backlog.
In the ZF Mgcawu District Municipality, 938 bucket toilets have been eradicated from a backlog of 3 428, while 1 686 in Rosedale are awaiting connection to the sewer system. The Namakwa District has eradicated the backlog of 192.
According to the Provincial Sanitation Coordinator in the Northern Cape Gavin January, since the year 2014 “1 114 new toilet structures have been erected in the Francis Baard area in Ritchie, however the new toilet structures have not yet been connected to the sewer system awaiting the completion of the bulk water infrastructure system”.
In fact a total of “3 115 new toilet structures in the Northern Cape have been erected and just awaiting connection to the sewer system”
Northern Cape is well known to be a water scarce province, hence the theme “it is not all about flushing”. Therefore January says it is “vital that all alternative sanitation solutions be considered. Alternative solutions include the usage of low volume flush systems, ventilated improved pits (VIP), urine diversion systems (UDS), conservancy tanks and septic tanks”.
During World Toilet Day “we will be visiting schools and communities conducting education and awareness on the importance of operation and maintenance on our sanitation infrastructure to ensure its sustainability.