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Bucket Toilets - a Never-Ending Story

Bucket-toiletsBucket-toiletsNine years after President Thabo Mbeki announced plans to eradicate the demeaning and unhygienic bucket system, it lingers on, even increasing in some areas. At a briefing in Parliament on Wednesday, the department of water and sanitation outlined more plans to eradicate it.

The department of water and sanitation has presented expanded figures sourced from provincial departments showing 88,127 households in formal areas are still using the unhygienic, degrading system of bucket toilets. In informal areas, a further 140,000 households rely on the system. That figure will rise, with numbers from fourprovinces - Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga - still to be added.

Issues of sanitation remain a challenge for government, highlighted by the death of six-year-old Michael Komape last year in a pit toilet at school in Limpopo and ‘poo protests’ at the Western Cape Legislature. While minister of water and sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane has ambitious plans to end the bucket system, the practice will be around for a while yet.

The department’s director general, Margaret Ann Diedricks, said based on the available data, the situation in informal settlements is worst in Western Cape, where 59,932 households rely on bucket toilets, followed b y Free State...




Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene March-April 2017 Vol.12 No.2