On 16 November 2022, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and its partners including the Beaufort West Local Municipality, Lixil Africa and volunteers from the Hillside View community celebrated the World Toilet Day in this municipality.
The World Toilet Day is an international day that is set aside to urge governments worldwide to accelerate access to decent sanitation and celebrate milestones that have been achieved in increasing access to toilet facilities around the world as a result.
According to the Sanitation Services Deputy Director in the DWS, Mr Jacob Ngo, South Africa has committed that by 2030 everybody will have access to decent toilet facilities as per the Sustainable Development Goal 6 of the United Nations.
During the celebrations in Hillside View, government went from house-to-house educating the community members about the importance of sanitation in general and looking after their toilets. Water conservation was also highlighted. Toilet paper, soap and sanitizers were handed to each household visited to encourage them to utilise these in preventing toilet blockages.
Soaps and sanitisers were also handed out for handwashing as a way of preventing communicable diseases.
According to recent water balance statistics, Hillside View contributes to the Beaufort West Municipality’s water losses that are in the region of 40% of potable water. Water leaks are a significant contributor to this high percentage.
While spreading the message of safer sanitation, looking after the toilets, and saving water, the Department also identified leaks in toilets and taps where its partner, Lixil Africa fixed the leaks for free on the spot utilising their own material.
Lixil Africa’s Mr Ighsaan Hugo said he was hoping that the communities could work with them by looking after their toilets and by reporting leaks immediately to the municipality so that they could save water.
“During the contact sessions we highlighted the importance of reporting leaks and how they can save money by doing so,” said Mr Hugo
The campaign took place throughout the country. While some officials were in Beaufort West, others were spread across the country also celebrating the milestones achieved in increasing access to toilets.
For example, the Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mr David Mahlobo attended the World Sanitation Summit in Abuja, Nigeria, while Deputy minister Dikeledi Magadzi was in Limpopo handing over girl-friendly toilets to a school, and decent sanitation facilities to 400 households.
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