Cape Town -
Dignity has been restored at a Philippi creche, where about 60 pre-schoolers previously used buckets to relieve themselves during the day.
Toilets and taps, sponsored by NGO Breadline Africa, were installed at Khulanathi Educare on World Toilet Day on Monday.
Previously, the children lined up outside a small shack to relieve themselves in white buckets.
Educare principal Lindiwe Zoya said the shack was an upgrade from what they used a year ago, when the children had to relieve themselves in bushes close to the school.
Breadline Africa helped the creche with classrooms, a kitchen and proper ablution facilities. The NGO’s Edna Titus said she first noticed that there were no toilets during a recent visit to the creche.
She said the NGO was in the process of getting classrooms and a kitchen for the creche when she decided they needed toilets as well.
Breadline Africa recycles old shipping containers before converting them into classrooms, soup kitchens and toilets for people in informal settlements.
Titus said that as a mother she wanted the children to have the dignity of having their own toilets. She and her team officially handed over the toilets on Monday, as well as two classrooms and a kitchen – all housed in retrofitted shipping containers.
According to the 2011 census report released last month, more than 50 000 households in the Western Cape don’t have toilets and almost 60 000 households use the bucket system.
Zoya said she was pleased that the creche would no longer be using buckets as it took up to an hour at a time to help the little children. She said the smell from the buckets was “horrible”.
Zoya said it was also not good for the children’s health as they had nowhere to wash their hands.
“But now we have running water inside the kitchen and toilets. So it is safe for everyone.”