A parent described school
toilets in Limpopo as "scary places".
"Toilets are scary places. In one school I saw children going to a hole
to help themselves. The situation is horrible in Limpopo. I just want to cry,
my kids are experiencing the same situation," said Solly Milambo.
Milambo highlighted the sanitation problem in the Northern Province at a
news conference held by civil society lobby group Section27 in Johannesburg.
He said pupils were forced to go to the bush rather than endangering their
health by using dilapidated and overflowing pit toilets at schools.
No running water
Schools did not have money to hire contractors to remove waste from
overflowing toilets, he said. "Flush toilets are built in rural areas where
there is no running water." He said that much more needed to be done to
provide better sanitation for pupils.
crisis in Tembisa schools
Section27 said it would rather work with the basic education department to
address unsafe and unhygienic toilets in Limpopo schools, than taking legal
action to address backlogs.
"We want to avoid any legal action as we share a vision with the
department to rid the education system of unacceptable conditions," said
Section27 attorney Nikki Stein.
"We want to work together but the department needs to look at its
responsiveness when it comes to complaints."
A meeting between Section27 and the department was held on Wednesday to
discuss concerns raised on infrastructure and sanitation in the past two years.
Concerns over unsafe and unhygienic toilets in Limpopo schools came to the
fore after six-year-old Michael Komape died when he fell into a pit toilet at
his school last week in Chebeng village outside Polokwane.
toilet – problems & solutions