Toilets4Schools | Sanitation with Safety and Dignity
Ukuphepha nenhlanzeko, ekugcineni!
Since Monday, 5th October 2019, a total of 30 toilet cubicles have been handed to four schools, situated in Loskop and Bergville, on the foothills of the Drakensburg Mountains, in the KZN Midlands.
This is a continuation of the initiative of the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa (JUSA), in partnership with the Gift of the Givers, in order to make the schooling environment safer, hygienic and conducive to learning.
The beneficiary schools and the respective number of toilet cubicles completed are:
- Singayo Imfundo Primary School (Loskop) 5 toilet cubicles
- Bonokuhle High School (Loskop) 10 toilets toilet cubicles
- Qhoza High School (Bergville) 12 toilet cubicles
- Vuma High School (Bergville) 3 toilet cubicles
A number of learners have perished over the years after falling into unstable or unsecured pit latrines, while answering to the call of nature. In spite of the alarming headlines, highlighting the gravity of the situation of school sanitation facilities over the years, the reality is that not much has changed on the ground, especially in rural parts of the country. The Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo, top the provinces with the highest number of either pit latrines or inadequate sanitation facilities.
After 25 years of freedom and walking down the democracy lane, more than 4,000 schools across the country still use and rely on pit latrines that are often unsafe for young learners. It is our responsibility to ensure that the next generation does not have to risk fatal outcomes in the toilets while accessing basic education.
It is estimated that close to R7 billion will be required to eradicate pit latrines from South African schools. President Cyril Ramaphosa has personally called upon the private sector as well as other stakeholders to join hands with government in order to eradicate such unsafe facilities in schools.
The current battle against the Coronavirus pandemic makes it even more imperative and urgent to make the school environment safer, through adequate and hygienic sanitation.
Just as the case in previous handover events, the delivery of the cubicles, learners and educators at the schools expressed their gratitude and extreme jubilation for the sanitation facilities. They enumerated a host of challenges that come with inadequate sanitation facilities at the school.
Young learners are at times too scared to relieve themselves utilising a pit for fear of falling in. This causes them to either mess themselves up or attempt to relieve themselves elsewhere, in a very unhygienic fashion.
The principal at Imfundo told the delegation at the handover ceremony: “Teachers accompanied learners to the dangerous pit toilets as learners were too scared to go to toilet on their own. Our new toilets came to them as a great sign of relief.”
In jubilation with a great sense of relief and gratitude, leaners at Bonokuhle High School exclaimed: “Ukuphepha nenhlanzeko, ekugcineni!.” [Safety and hygiene, at last!]
At Qhozo High School, the principal told the JUSA team: “Our students are capable but because they don’t have basic amenities, they tend to shy away and it kills their confidence.”
Insufficient clean-water supply, malnutrition, overcrowded classrooms, poor quality health care and children being taken care of by aged grandparents, are among the many hurdles to quality education faced by children in rural communities.
The Jamiatul Ulama South Africa has improved upon the works around the previous toilet cubicles at schools by paving the area around the installations.
The plan is to extend this project to many other rural schools across the country. To date, 9 schools have been reached, catering for tens of hundreds of learners. The motivation is to enable education to be accessed with greater dignity. An improved learning environment enables better education which in turn translates into a healthier society.
All wishing to support this initiative can make contributions into our banking account as follows:
Name: Jamiatul Ulama South Africa Relief
Bank: Nedbank – Fordsburg
Branch Code: 195 305
Account Number: 1953 285937
Reference: Your Name / Toilets 4 Schools
Lillah and Sadaqah applicable