25 February 2013

Namibia: Bucket Toilets Irk Fransfontein

"THE government has failed us if we still continue to use bucket toilets after 23 years of independence."

These were the words of Fransfontein resident Frieda Shikongo who, together with more than 50 other households, continues to make use of the bucket toilet system at the settlement.

"Sometimes there are worms in the buckets but we have no other option but to use this although we risk infections," Shikongo told The Namibian.

Another resident, Elke Katjizumo, said people from nearby shebeens make use of her toilet without her permission at night.

Some parts of the settlement have no lights and the majority of residents who live in dark areas also want the rural electrification programme of the Ministry of Mines and Energy to reach them.

Many of the women spoke of how unsafe it is to go to the toilet at night, risking snakebites and other dangerous creatures.

They want the governor of the Kunene Region, Joshua //Hoëbeb, to visit the settlement to see how they live there, Shikongo said.

The contractor who collects the waste buckets does so only once a month, leaving people to deal with overflowing buckets for most of the time, according to the residents.

They also want to contractor to remove the buckets at night instead of during the day to lessen the impact of the smell.

The chief regional officer of Kunene, George Kamseb, said it is a government priority to phase out the bucket toilets.

Kamseb said plans were afoot and a presentation was made to the central government to build proper toilets at the settlement but the matter has yet to be finalised.

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