Sanitation Improvements

The New Age, Monday, 05 October 2015

Six schools, where 100 pupils share a single toilet or have other problems, will receive upgrades

BATANDWA MALINGO

The Gauteng education department has partnered with an international non-profit- organisation in a bid to upgrade ailing sanitation at some of the province’s schools.

The department said at the weekend that six schools would receive sanitation upgrades after a study by Equal Education released earlier this year said over 100 pupils were sharing a single toilet at some schools. The study also said one in five toilets were either broken or locked and 70% of schools had no access to soap while 40% had no access to toilet paper.

The chief of staff at MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s office Oupa Bodibe said sanitation at schools was a key priority for the department hence the partnership with Sulabh International, which was established in 1970 with an aim to alleviate a sanitation crisis in India.

The organisation has built more than one million toilets in rural home in india. It was registered last year in South Africa to fund renovation of school sanitation dacilities. “Sanitation is a key priority for the department and we are excited to partner with Sulabh International in the sanitation club.

With good sanitation facilities, pupils take pride in themselves and are able to focus on their studies,” he said.

Bodibe said they plan to roll out Sulabh International’s renovations and sanitation club programme to other schools in the province. The first six selected schools for the upgrade are Malvern High, Malerato Primary, Mokoarane Primary, IH Harris primary, Hitekani Primary and Tsweleo Primary.

“The Sanlam Foundation has donated R3m to Sulabh to run the project over a 5-year period, ensuring the sustainability of the project in the long-term, The surrounding communities will benefit from training and skills development,” spokesperson Phumla Slekhonyane said.