Eastern Cape Schools Lack Adequate Provision Of Sanitation

PICTURE:Nompendulu Ngubane/GroundUp

The Countries Education officials has describes the sanitation problems at schools more especially the rural areas compared to urban areas as a national embarrassment.

Yesterday the Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga organised a meeting with the education heads as directed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Following a disaster, leaving the Nation in shock after a five-year-old pupil drowned in a pit toilet at Luna Primary School in Bizana on the Eastern Cape last week.

The meeting was aimed at coming up with an immediate plan to get rid of pit toilets in the next coming months.

According to Motshekga, the loss of an innocent young child was a painful experience and has drawn attention to ongoing sanitation challenges.

During the media briefing, the Education Department Elijah Mhlanga has revealed that, the Eastern Cape Province has the highest number of pit toilets within the country, leaving 37 schools with no toilets at all.

“The biggest problem is the Eastern Cape where they still have about 37 schools without any form of sanitation whatsoever. It also has the largest number of schools that have pit latrines only,” he said

Motshekga said the Western Cape and Gauteng Province indicates an increase in number of learners relocating to these provinces as it has presented new challenges for adequate provision of sanitation.

According to Mosthekga, the department already has an existing plan in place, which is intended to eradicate unsafe and inadequate toilets.

“We need to confirm the confirmation we already have and fast-track our existing plans. Our priority is safety. I have always stressed restoring dignity to the education system and to learners to ensure that their human rights are upheld. We know that especially in our rural provinces such as the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo bulk water supply is not supplied and installing a flushing toilet is not a viable option.”

Furthermore Motshekga said a complete plan with detailed costs will be Presented to President Ramaphosa within the three months period.