Forum to flush lav blues away

2016-03-17 06:00
Debbie Hene, Director-Regulation from the Department of Water and Sanitation speaking during consultation of Sanitation Policy Review, in Khayelitsha, on Friday.                                                 PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

Debbie Hene, Director-Regulation from the Department of Water and Sanitation speaking during consultation of Sanitation Policy Review, in Khayelitsha, on Friday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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The number of protests caused by the lack of service delivery, particularly around sanitation, may soon become a scourge of the past if a newly formed forum has its way.

The Water and Sanitation Khayelitsha Forum, was introduced during the consultation of Sanitation Policy Review which was held by the Department of Water and Sanitation, at Khayelitsha Training Centre last Friday.

The forum is one of 27 formed in areas which are described as dysfunctional and are seen as hot spots for service delivery protests across the country.

The consultation is part of an ongoing national review of the sanitation policy where the public is invited to comment.

The National Sanitation Policy includes the policy positions amendments required to support equity in the sanitation sector; to strengthen the sanitation institutions and to ensure sustainable sanitation provision in the country.

Debbie Hene, a director from the department said the meeting was a follow-up ot the the initial one held last September.

Hene said the department has come-up with the idea of forming the forums so they will be able to address issues regarding sanitation without engaging in protests.

The deadline for the consultation is 31 March. Thulani Zondani, the chairperson of the Water and Sanitation Khayelitsha Forum, said they are planning to increase the number of members of the forum to ensure that it includes other community based stakeholders such as Community Police Fora which were not represented in the meeting on the day.

Zondani said the forum is going to be a good platform to raise concerns about sanitation in informal settlements and that it will be free from any political affiliation.

“There was no structure established to address issue of sanitation specifically. This forum will include all stakeholders so that we have one strong voice which will now be louder than before. It will limit the number of protest regarding sanitation. The municipality will be forced to listen to the forum,” he said.

A representative from the Khayelitsha Development Forum said the were keen to see transformation in the sanitation sector in the area.

Loyiso Nkohla of Ses’khona People’s Rights Movement, asked how much budget is allocated for sanitation and that “who must be accountable” should the implementation of their concerns not take place.

Some of the issues that were raised in the meeting were those of safety of residents in informal settlements when they use the toilets which are a distance from their shacks and also the issue of their cleanliness which was described as hazardous to their health.

There are more meetings planned for future engagements in the matter.

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