Pit toilets vs flushing

2015-10-07 06:00
LARRY CRISP, Communication practitioner

LARRY CRISP, Communication practitioner Foto:

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AS a child, using a pit toilet was never unusual or strange. But growing up and experiencing flush toilets, it changes one’s perception completely. Waking up in the middle of the night to take a leak was the worst experience, especially because there was no flashlight app or even a cellphone to light the way.

Looking down was never an option, unless you wanted to have nightmares. Pit toilets are unsafe, especially for children, but back then we were none the wiser.

Many people will tell you that only by comparing one thing with another can one become aware of the value of something. Thinking back now, I count my lucky stars that I never got sick or fell in.

Communities may not be to blame when they have had enough of such conditions and start protesting. There is a flip side to the coin, however, and there could be a number of reasons why government is not able to meet the demand.

One of these being that communities are expanding and new residential areas are mushrooming overnight.

As time goes on people demand decent infrastructure, water and sanitation. The problem is that government might not always have the means, budget or capacity to be able to deliver on time.

Unfortunately, South Africans have inherited a culture of protesting and destroying property in order to draw attention to their cause.

The recent national census showed that more than 95% of communities have access to water, but the downside is that much of this water has to be used for flushing toilets. Connecting more toilets to our water system might cause a further decline in our supply.

What one should also not lose sight of, however, is the fact that providing people with flushing toilets would enhance their human dignity. It is, however, never easy to please everybody.

The minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, has been calling for more innovative methods for the supplying of water and sanitation.

Recently she suggested that the water tank sizes of flush toilets be reduced so less water is flushed down the drain.

The big issue is whether our water supply is adequate and if we are doing enough to conserve it. As residents of this beautiful country we have to start changing the way in which we perceive the value of water.

Without this scarce and precious resource there is no life. We need to conserve it in any way we can. Not only for ourselves, but for our future generations. Indeed water is life and sanitation is dignity.

) Crisp is a principal communications officer for the Department of Water and Sanitation in the Free State region.

) To contribute to this column, send your piece of about 500 words to Jabulani.Dlamini@volksblad.com

Unfortunately South Africans have inherited a culture of protesting and destroying property in order to draw attention to their cause. The recent national census shows that more than 95% of communities have access to water, but the catch comes in when this water has to be used for flush system toilets

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