Sanitation Month kicks off | Infrastructure news

The Department of Water and Sanitation is set to celebrate Sanitation Month this May under the theme “It is not all about flushing”.

The main objective of the celebrations, according to the department, is to raise the profile of sanitation and encourage local government and communities to prioritise sanitation, health and hygiene.

“Access to adequate sanitation is fundamental to personal dignity and security, social and psychological well-being, public health, poverty reduction, gender equality, economic development and environmental sustainability,” the department notes.

Delays in eradicating sanitation backlogs

Like many other countries South Africa is faced with the challenge of eradicating sanitation backlogs and according to the department has committed to joining the globe towards enhancing and fast-tracking programmes and developments for the eradication of sanitation backlogs.

Apart from the reality that South Africa, which is a water scarce country, uses raw bulk water for flushing purposes the department says progress on eradicating existing backlogs has been hampered by the fact that sanitation has from the past not been regarded as a priority.

Striving for equal access

“Thus the need to raise the profile of sanitation in order to change the mindsets of ordinary citizens, decision makers, all spheres of government and all stakeholders through advocacy programmes and campaigns,” the department explains.

“The department strives to make sure that all South Africans have access to sanitation and also give guidance in terms of looking after these facilities,” the department notes.

“Through these campaigns communities are well informed of the need to practice good hygiene practices, like washing hands after using a toilet and before preparing food,” the department concludes.

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