Bucket toilets fill up

A child runs past one of the three bucket toilets at Hostel No. 1 in Bloemfontein. Photo: Teboho Setena
A child runs past one of the three bucket toilets at Hostel No. 1 in Bloemfontein. Photo: Teboho Setena

Three bucket toilets at Hostel No. 1 in Bloemfontein that have apparently not been emptied for two weeks are creating a situation which could pose a health risk and become inhuman.

Residents utilising these to relieve themselves have been forced to go elsewhere.

They claim the buckets have not been emptied for weeks.

By Monday (30/09) the toilets were standing full, leaving residents to contend with the unpleasant smell while waiting for workers of the Mangaung Metro Municipality to empty the three buckets.

Residents said that usually the bucket toilets are emptied by workers of the muni­cipality at least three times a week – on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

However, it is now a different story.

Some residents have expressed grave concern regarding their health.

Affected residents stay in temporary shack dwellings and some apartments of the hostel located on the corner of Dr Belcher and Moshoeshoe Road.

The residents phoned Express and said that life had become a living hell the past two weeks.

They said during this period they were forced to go elsewhere to use the bathroom, while others go to their neighbours who have flush toilets in their houses.

The three buckets are temporarily meant for daily use by at least 13 households.

Most of these are among the scores that are still on the waiting list for houses.

Express learned some of these residents have been staying here since 2011.

The number of people using the toilets is reportedly far more than the expected number.

One of the residents highlighted that the toilets were not locked, posing serious challenges of control, as everyone has access.

According to the parliamentary portfolio committee report on water and sanitation in 2018, the backlog on bucket toilets was 57 270 in the Mangaung Metro.

According to the Department of Water and Sanitation, 33 768 buckets or ventilated improved pit-latrines (VIPs), were replaced between 2009 and 2018.

The parliamentary portfolio committee indicated that the Free State had a backlog of 10 781 bucket toilets while aiming to meet the target set in the bucket eradication programme.

Although 10 202 old buckets were removed, they cannot be used for flushing due to the pending con­struction of a bulk sewer.

At the time of going to print, the Mangaung Metro was yet to comment.

The buckets have not been emptied for two weeks.

– Residents at Hostel No. 1

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