Anele Mdoda builds toilets for school children: ‘We grew up using these long drop toilets, they’re not alright’


Media personality Anele Mdoda is a woman of her own word.

Earlier this month she told Move! about her mission to raise money and eradicate pit toilets in schools and she has raised enough to build the first of many.

Speaking about her motivation to start the initiative Anele explains that she was touched by a story she read about a young girl who fell in a pit toilet and died.

“There are stories you hear and you become so desensitised. But the story of Lumka Mketwa, a five-year-old girl who died in the broken pit latrine of her school in Bizana touched me. I don’t even know her mother,” she says.

Read more: Girl, 5, dies after falling into pit toilet at Eastern Cape school

The Eastern Cape-born radio and TV presenter says enough with pit toilets because they’re not only unsafe but scary to use too.

Anele knows this all too well because back home in the Eastern Cape, she grew up using these toilets.

“Just because we grew up using these long drop toilets and turned out fine doesn’t mean they’re alright. The long drop is scary,” she says.

Last year Anele was the campaign ambassador for Domestos/Unilever and World Toilet Day. She has used her celebrity status to call upon everyone to contribute in raising R2,2 million after a successful campaign of raising R1,1 million the previous year.

Thembalethu Primary school in Lusikisiki, in the Eastern Cape is the first beneficiary of her efforts to rid school of the dangerous and unhygienic pit toilets.

“Kids can’t be relieving themselves in pits. My biggest fear is for Alakhe to drown as well. I just imagine my own son dying in a pit toilet,” shares the mother-of-one.

Even though she is leading the troops in trying to do away with pit toilets in schools, Anele doesn’t downplay the help she gets from Unilever and assistance from the national basic education department.

“I have asked Domestos to help me because they have contacts. They were teaching hygiene to kids. I told them that it’s pointless to teach them just about hygiene if they still use these toilets. We also work with the national basic education. There are 2800 schools that need toilets. 20 toilets per school,” she says.

This week Anele is on the ground to check the progress. She shared her excitement and called on all those who can to contribute so this initiative goes to all needy schools.

“Guys !!!! The toilets are standing !!!! Almost done and I popped in to check out how the developments are going and I am already on my next mission to install proper sanitation in two more schools. - - - any sum that you can donate goes a long way !!! No more pit latrines for schools in SA,” she posted on her Instagram page.

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