Dry flushing the key to minister’s sanitation revolution

2015-05-21 14:32
Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has pledged to champion a “sanitation revolution” in the country. Picture: Mbulelo Sisulu/Daily Sun

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has pledged to champion a “sanitation revolution” in the country. Picture: Mbulelo Sisulu/Daily Sun

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If you haven’t heard of “dry flushing” before, you had better learn fast.

This is a buzzword of Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane in her pledge to champion a “sanitation revolution” in the country.

Speaking at a media briefing ahead of her budget vote speech in Parliament later today, Mokonyane said that South Africans needed to be educated “so that they may know ‘It’s not all about flushing’.’’

“A decent sanitation solution does not mean a flushing, water-borne solution … Dry sanitation solutions must become the reality we work towards in both low and high-income households.”

The country was “turning a new page” from a past where access to water was a privilege enjoyed by a few to a future where all South Africans will enjoy access to basic clean water and sanitation.

“In restoring the dignity of our people, the department plans to transform current approaches to sanitation. Our current methods of disposing human waste through flushing toilets that utilise drinking quality water are both unwise and unsustainable.”

The department was looking at technology that would assist in eliminating the use of clean drinkable water to dispose of human waste.

“We are determined to introduce low-water and no-water solutions as part of our efforts to deliver sanitation.”

Mokonyane said steps to introduce norms and standards for the provision of sanitation would be announced soon.

When pressed for specific examples of dry flushing, Mokonyane said this included using chemicals, heating systems and far greater use of recycling methods – for example, using “grey water”, which can be used over and over for more than five years.

“South Africa has been left behind by science. It is a sign of backwardness to use drinkable water for sanitation … We need to educate one another, and deal with the myths [around sanitation] and fear of the unknown. Imagine if one day we have flushing but no water to drink,” she said calling for South Africans to flush, but flush responsibly.

Read more on:    nomvula mokonyane  |  toilets

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