The Eastern Cape has improved the delivery of sanitation facilities by 54,1% between 2002 and 2019, says the department of water and sanitation (DWS) as today marks World Toilet Day .
This is a significant growth from 33,4% to 87,6%, which has left a 12.4% room for improvement.
According to the department, World Toilet Day aims to remind world governments to prioritize sanitation by ensuring that the global population has access to safe and dignified sanitation as was established by the World Toilet Organization in 2001.
DWS spokesperson Sputnik Ratau says: “The department of water and sanitation working with various municipalities around the country dedicated the entire November month to creating awareness on a number of ways communities can do to take good care of their toilets and their importance.
“Toilets are important for the healthy development of people and their dignity. Lack of sanitation proves to be a major problem for the health of many, especially women and children, who are more likely to suffer from diseases and malnutrition brought about by non-sanitary living conditions.”
Ratau says the government can only build toilets for needy communities, but it relies on residents to take responsibility in looking after their toilet facilities.
“People who do not have toilets in their homes can liaise with their ward councillors in their municipalities for them to be included in their municipalities’ integrated development plans for sanitation service provision.
‘’We call upon all people to look after their toilets to sustain them even beyond their lifespan especially when it comes to ventilated improved pit toilets,’’ he adds.
The department has provided the following tips on how people can take care of their toilets and their health:
1. Shut the lid before flushing or after using pit toilets.
2. Keep toilet seats clean.
3. Don’t throw in or flush foreign objects.
4. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before stepping out.
5. Dry hands before stepping out.
6. Keep the floor dry and clean.