The lives of 1 355 children in KZN have changed after public benefit organisation, Breadline Africa, installed 66 flushing toilets in five schools.
The organisation aims to help a further 120 000 children across 240 schools by installing 4 000 toilets in the next 18 to 24 months. Their pit toilet replacement campaign is aimed at achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (Target 6.2), of “providing access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and to end open defaecation, paying special attention to the needs of women, girls and those in vulnerable situations.”
“The pit latrine crisis is an ongoing, pressing issue in our country. At Breadline Africa, our goal is to raise R156-million towards this cause over the next two years as part of our ‘Flush Challenge’”, says Marion Wagner, CEO of Breadline Africa. “While we experience a nationwide outcry when a child dies in a pit toilet, real steps towards addressing the issue remains a challenge. It is for this reason, amongst many, that we decided to do something about it. And the change is already in motion.”
The group has installed 66 eco-friendly Envirosan low-flush toilet systems, 18 urinals and have installed handwashing facilities at these primary schools. These new facilities lead to improved privacy and dignity, freedom to drink when thirsty without having to stress about having to use a pit toilet and not having to wait in queues to use the toilet.
The organisation has also made sure that no unsafe pit remains open once they leave a site, ensuring even greater safety for children.
Those who make use of the new toilets have expressed a sense of relief, as they are now able to use the toilet without concerns of snakes, hazards or worries about the transmission of illness. Learners now get to enjoy both safety and improved hygiene.