The Department of Water and Sanitation will raise awareness on the state of sanitation across the country, as part of World Toilet day commemorated on 19 November 2019.
This year’s theme is “Leaving No One Behind” and aims to ensure the elimination of inequalities in access and use.
Sanitation officials within the Department in different parts of the country will visit schools and communities to raise awareness of the crucial role that sanitation plays in reducing disease and creating healthier communities.
The officials will be on the ground throughout the month of November and beyond, not only to raise awareness but also to ensure service delivery for members of the public.
In 2013, United Nations (UN) announced that 19 November each year should be dedicated to stimulate dialogue and draw attention to the global sanitation challenges.
UN also said by doing this, this will encourage action from governments around the globe to recommit them to curb the plight of those without proper sanitation.
This will also form part of the Presidential District-Based Coordination Model dubbed ”Khawuleza”, which literlly means ‘hurry up’.
It aims to address service delivery and economic development challenges through the synchronisation of planning across all spheres of government.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 4,5 billion people all over the world still lack this basic facility. And it estimates those who practice open defecation at 892 million, putting the environment and hygiene at risk.
South Africa prides itself with milestones it has reached to eradicate bucket toilets in its efforts to restore dignity to the previously disadvantaged communities. This has been further applauded by African Ministers Council on Water who has urged the rest of the African continent to take a leaf out of South Africa’s book and improve their sanitation provisions.
“The Department of Water and Sanitation, acknowledges that, bucket toilets have not been fully eradicated, but it is pleased that this will be done before the UN target of 2030,” they said in a statement.
Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is expected to soon announce an update on the progress that has been made to eradicate the sanitation backlog in Free State, Eastern Cape, North West, Northern Cape and Limpopo provinces.
Meanwhile, the South African government is committed to provide 100% of its citizens with basic water and sanitation, and while it has reached its Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for water, it is focusing on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, which includes providing sanitation infrastructure.