Free State toddler dies in pit toilet

PHOTO: Supplied

A toddler from K10 Section, Kutlwanong, in Odendaalsrus in the Free State, has passed on after falling in a pit toilet.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) spokesperson, Sipho Towa, said they were called and on arrival, discovered that the child had already passed on. They immediately handed the scene to law enforcement agencies.

Provincial police spokesperson, Stephen Thakeng, told OFM News the police were called to the scene at about 11:15 on Tuesday. He said the toddler was with her sister at the time of the incident when they went to the back of the shack. Thakeng explained the police discovered that the yard was not fenced in and a hole, made at the pit toilet, was also not covered. He said the child eventually fell inside the hole and drowned as there was water rubble.

“The child was identified as Onkutlwile Pholo and SAPS Divers Unit members were summoned to the scene to retrieve the body. A case has been registered for further investigation. The investigation will be conducted by Detective Sergeant Obakeng Masisi of Odendaalsrus Detective Services,” said Thakeng.

OFM News previously reported that Free State municipalities were scrutinised during a sitting of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) over the bucket system which continues to be a challenge.

In 2021, Education Minister Angie Motshega vowed to eradicate pit latrines in several provinces, including the Free State.

“We had some delays last year with the programme of pit latrines, because construction had to stop. When we opened, materials were scarce, so there was some delay but we have picked up momentum and we can report some progress”.

A four-year-old girl was found in a pit toilet at an Eastern Cape primary school last month.

Meanwhile, residents of the Paballelo township in Upington raised several health concerns over the continued use of pit toilets.

OFM News/ Kekeletso Mosebetsi