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Development Bank of Southern Africa and Breadline Africa to tackle unsafe pit toilets in rural schools

Screenshot 2024-05-24 at 09.57.26

Development Bank of Southern Africa and Breadline Africa to tackle unsafe pit toilets in rural schools

The unsafe pit latrines have claimed the lives of countless children over decades, and this has evolved into a national crisis demanding urgent action. In alignment with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, aiming for water and sanitation for all by 2030, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) is proud to announce its partnership with Breadline Africa to address this pressing issue.

Pit latrines are a prevalent form of sanitation across South Africa, especially in rural areas and informal settlements where centralised sewage systems are lacking. Efforts have been made to innovate in the field of sanitation, with projects focusing on developing more sustainable and hygienic pit latrine designs and promoting community education on proper sanitation practices. This remains a pressing need for continued investment in infrastructure and initiatives to ensure access to safe and hygienic sanitation for all South Africans, particularly those in rural and informal settlement areas.

The Bank is proud to announce the launch of a groundbreaking sanitation improvement project aimed at addressing the urgent issue of unsafe pit toilets in rural schools. In partnership with Breadline Africa, the Bank is committed to eliminating over 200 hazardous pit toilets, mitigating health risks for children, and ensuring a safe learning environment.

The initiative kicked off in Mount Ayliff, Eastern Cape, where two schools serving visibly impoverished and rural communities were identified as priority areas for intervention. Recognising the pressing need for action, DBSA and Breadline Africa joined forces to tackle this persistent challenge head-on. Through the collaborative endeavour, outdated and unsafe pit toilets have been replaced with modern, flushing facilities, equipped with a 60-litre water tank.

These upgraded facilities not only prioritise the health and safety of children but also champion sustainable infrastructure solutions. By utilising a mere two litres of water per flush, sourced from nearby water sources, the project ensures a sustainable solution in water-scarce communities like Mount Ayliff. Additionally, by providing employment opportunities for 30 local artisans and contractors during the construction phase, the project contributes to local economic growth.

“Improving sanitation infrastructure in rural schools is not just about replacing outdated facilities, it’s about safeguarding the dignity, health, and future of our children. At the Development Bank of Southern Africa, we are driven by a vision of sustainable development, and our partnership with Breadline Africa to tackle unsafe pit toilets underscores our commitment to realising this vision. Together, we are not only building toilets, but we are also building a brighter future for communities across Southern Africa,” said Lunga Schoeman: CSI Programmes Manager: DBSA.

Moreover, by eliminating the need for costly pit toilet maintenance, the project has saved the schools thousands of rands. Benefiting over 450 children and educators, this initiative sets a precedent for future endeavours aimed at enhancing community well-being.

Looking ahead, DBSA is committed to expanding the project’s impact significantly. Over the coming months, an additional eight schools across Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and KZN will receive similar support. This extension will see over 200 toilet facilities, including seats and urinals, replaced, benefiting over 3,000 children and educators across these regions.

DBSA remains steadfast in its commitment to driving sustainable development and improving the lives of communities across Southern Africa. Together with Breadline Africa, we are proud to lead the way in transforming sanitation and ensuring a brighter future for generations to come.

We believe that access to safe sanitation is a fundamental human right, and through collaborative efforts like this, we are committed to creating a future where every child can thrive in a safe and hygienic learning environment,” concluded Lunga.


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