Education dept presents sanitation plan

2013-03-12 21:47

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Johannesburg - The basic education department has drawn up a plan to address the need for sanitation in Limpopo schools, Section27 said on Tuesday.

"Section27 is encouraged by the willingness of the department of basic education to recognise the desperate situation of many Limpopo schools and to put in place measures to address this," the advocacy group said in a statement.

Following discussions between it, the department, the National Association of School Governing Bodies, and the Limpopo education department, the plan was provided on 8 March.

It outlines solutions to replacing old or unhygienic toilets, or installing more at schools which did not have enough.

Many toilets did not have doors, and most did not have hand-washing facilities.

"These toilets are in breach of the rights to privacy, dignity, health and basic education," Section27 said.

The organisation said in terms of the plan, 215 priority schools would receive new sanitation facilities by 30 June.

A total of 162 of these schools would receive funding from provincial infrastructure budgets, and 53 from the basic education department's accelerated school infrastructure development initiative.

"The toilets to be installed at these schools are ventilated, improved pit latrines [VIP toilets].

These toilets are appropriate for the rural setting which does not have a sufficiently reliable water supply for a water-based sanitation system."

Schools without adequate hand-washing facilities would have them provided, along with the infrastructure to ensure reliable water supply.

"The department of basic education has undertaken that this will be followed by a broader plan to address the sanitation needs of all of the schools in Limpopo, 80% of which are still using basic pit toilets, which are unhygienic and unsafe."

Section27 said given the plan it would put planned litigation on hold.

"However we will closely monitor implementation of the plan."

Read more on:    polokwane  |  health  |  education
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