Flush toilets after schoolboy’s death

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IOL  st p1main pit toilet 2.JPG.JPG (39450955) THE STAR The corroded seat of the pit toilet through which six-year-old Michael Komape fell and drowned. File picture: Moloko Moloto

Polokwane - Eighteen flushing toilets will be installed at a primary school in Chedeng village, Polokwane, where a pupil died in a pit toilet this week.

Deputy Human Settlements Minister Zou Kota-Fredericks said on Friday four toilets had already been built and 16 temporary toilets were brought in for the 190 pupils at the school.

The rest of the toilets were expected to be completed in two weeks.

She was part of the inter-governmental team visiting the Mahlodumela Primary School and the family of six-year-old Michael Komape.

“There is a system in place 1/8to ensure 3/8 that the same incident does not happen again. Michael's death was a wake-up call for us,” she said.

The department had allocated R781 million to improve sanitation at 868 schools across the country, she said. Government would also pay for Komape's funeral.

“We cannot give back their child, but we can be part of their recovery process.”

The pupils and teachers would receive counselling, which government would pay for. The pit toilets had since been closed, Kota-Fredericks.

On Thursday, Equal Education chairwoman Yoliswa Dwane said the 2011 National Education Infrastructure Management System Report showed most schools across the country still had inadequate sanitation.

“Of the 24,793 public ordinary schools, 11,450 schools are still using pit latrine toilets and 2402 schools have no water supply, while a further 2611 schools have an unreliable water supply.”

Dwane said after more than three years of campaigning by Equal Education, the legally binding regulations for minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure were adopted by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in November 2013.

“The regulations say all schools must have sanitation facilities that are easily accessible to all learners and must provide privacy and security, promote health and hygiene standards and be maintained in good working order.”

On Wednesday the SA Human Rights Commission said it would investigate sanitation in schools across Limpopo.

Sapa



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