South African Celebrities Call on Government to End Pit Toilets
Celebrities across South Africa are calling on the government to end the pit toilets that have claimed the lives of children across the country.
An emotional @Anele ..makes mention of little ,Lumka Mketwa(5) who died In a pit toilet and thought of her own child , as she has fears of him falling into a pool let alone a toilet , at school.. where a child is suppose to be safe. @DomestosSA#WorldToiletday2018#FlushForumpic.twitter.com/pL7QGJKfpW— Chanté Siyamthanda Jantjies (@ChanteJantjies_) November 19, 2018
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), some 4.5 billion people around the world don’t have access to basic sanitation facilities. Meanwhile, some 892 million people still defecate in the open — putting both people’s health and the environment at risk.
South Africa’s Department of Water and Sanitation, together with the Department of Basic Education have been blamed for the deaths of children as a result of the pit toilets system still present in schools across the country.
High-profile cases have drawn public attention to the ongoing issue. Michael Komape, 6, died after falling into a pit toilet at his school back in 2014; and another child, Lumka Mketwa, 5, also died after falling into one of the toilets earlier this year.
This little girl shook me to my core when she asked me if I would use the toilets she uses daily. Tomorrow @DomestosSA looks for a permanent change. I am going to need your help. https://t.co/4AfX7oel79#WorldToiletDay2018— Anele Mdoda (@Anele) November 18, 2018
Now, Section 2, a public interest law centre seeking to achieve social justice in South Africa, has been calling for the government to prioritise delivering safe toilet facilities in schools.
And celebrities are lending their voices to the effort.
TV broadcaster Chanté Siyamthanda Jantjies tweeted: “South African children have the right to basic water and sanitation facilities, at a place they consider safe. NO MORE PIT TOILET DEATHS AT SCHOOLS.”
South African children have the right to basic water and sanitation facilities, at a place they consider safe. NO MORE PIT TOILET DEATHS AT SCHOOLS.— Chanté Siyamthanda Jantjies (@ChanteJantjies_) November 18, 2018
Let’s have our say and pledge a donation @DomestosSA#Worldtoiletday2018#Flushforum#Wouldyougoherepic.twitter.com/BXuLVmjwxN
And she’s been joined by radio personality and entrepreneur Anele Mdoda, and radio and TV producer Claire Mawisa, who spoke about their personal experiences at the Flush Forum, hosted in Johannesburg on Monday.
The forum is being held as an idea-sharing space, to come up with innovative solutions to put an end to the sanitation crisis that affects so many South African learners.
#WorldToiletDay2018 - As the globe marks world toilet day; thousands of South Africans are still without basic sanitation and children are often the worst affected by this major issue pic.twitter.com/i7x59yL5va— Kaya FM News (@KayaNews) November 19, 2018
Speaking at the event, Mdoda announced a crowdfunding campaign — a joint effort with the #947BreakfastClub and Domestos — aiming to raise R1.1 million in support of improving sanitation in schools
“I am so happy to say it’s not even 12 [p.m.] and we have raised R700 000,” she said. "I want those toilets done by the time they go back to school in 2019.”
#WorldToiletDay2018 - Despite governments commitment to eradicate pit toilets in schools the country is still reeling from the deaths of Lumka Mketwa and Michael Komape. The two children who drowned in pit toilets in two separate incidents four years apart pic.twitter.com/NjXY11XDoc— Kaya FM News (@KayaNews) November 19, 2018
Meanwhile, Mawisa said that in the Eastern Cape alone, 197 schools have no water and 53 have no proper toilet facilities.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela, when asked on Twitter what would happen if citizens could sponsor a toilet, she tweeted and said that is possible.
“It is possible,” she said. “If we co-solve the toilet problem, it could be solved in three months.”
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