Donate-a-Loo Schools Project Launches as Treasury calls for the Eradication of Pit Latrine Toilets.

Donate-a-Loo Schools Project Launches as Treasury calls for the Eradication of Pit Latrine Toilets.

 

Despite the recent assurances from Government that they will be getting rid of pit latrine toilets in state schools within two years, they still pose a daily danger to children in more than 4,500 state schools in South Africa that have them.

A pit toilet is a large hole in the ground covered with a platform and many are shoddily built.

In March this year, 5-year-old Lumka Mketwa fell into one of those big holes at an Eastern Cape school and drowned; and four years ago, another 5-year-old, Michael Komape, died a similar horrific death in Limpopo.

In Tito Mboweni’s Mid-Term Budget Policy Statement on 24 October, he stated that Treasury’s most urgent priority was to eradicate pit latrines in schools and that R800m has been added to the 2018/2019 adjustment budget for the school infrastructure backlogs grant in an effort to save lives and restore dignity to tens of thousands of children.

“Over the medium term, the government, donors and private-sector companies will fund these projects and test new sanitation technology,” said the Treasury.

In response to the dire situation and years when no action was being taken by Government, Helene Bramwell, Owner of The Mask Skin & Body Clinic in Parkview, Johannesburg established the Donate-a-Loo Schools Project to ‘gift’ toilets to some of the most needy schools in Gauteng until such time as the Education Department could provide permanent toilets with running water. With the support of benefactors and donors, Donate-a-Loo launched their Schools Project at Paradise Bend Primary School in Diepsloot on 19 November, which was also officially World Toilet Day, where six ‘enviro’ loos have been installed at a cost of R13,000 per unit which includes an apron around the toilets – toilet rolls dispensers and hand wash units which will be put into a few classrooms.

“We are so proud and grateful to our benefactors and supporters for supporting the Donate-a-Loo Schools Project. The ‘enviro’ loo is a long-term sustainable solution as it has a life span of more than 50 years and it’s a once-off expense as it conserves water resources, requires no expensive reticulation or sewage treatment plant and comes with a two-year maintenance plan for the recipient school. This is our first site and we look forward to rolling out this initiative to earmarked schools in the Gauteng area as we receive funding,” says Helene Bramwell, Founder of the Donate-a-Loo Schools Project.

“I think Helene’s project is phenomenal. The young people of today are the future leaders of the country and how can we expect them to grow up as they should without access to a basic, working loo? We need to restore their dignity and improve their lives; the way we treat people today will determine the tomorrow of our country. Government often says they can’t do it alone, so what the Donate-a-Loo Schools Project is doing truly shows the potential of what one person can achieve,” says Eskel Jawitz, who has donated one of the ‘enviro’ loos.

According to Brian Klaas, Group CEO of Giant Leap, who donated towards three of the ‘enviro’ loos, he’s thrilled to be able to assist the needy school. “I cannot imagine what it must be like to be at a school where there are no toilets! To be able to change the status quo, for even just one school, makes a difference. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi – the future depends on what we do in the present”.


Sources: Donate-a-Loo
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