Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Tokyo Sexwale believes sanitation is a key priority

sanitation South Africa

Tokyo Sexwale believes sanitation is a key priority

Sanitation will take centre stage in government’s infrastructure build programme, South Africa's Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale told Parliament on Friday.

“The Marikanas will repeat itself over and over in this country [ South Africa], until we crumble, if you 

don’t address that first line… sanitation with clean running water… now that’s dignity.” he said. "The first thing for common people, the first infrastructure before a road and airport and all these things, even before a house, is a toilet.”

Of course with the 2011 internationally recognised Green Drop Report giving over half the waste water treatment works in South Africa a score below 50%, it is clear that it is a lot more than just toilets that we need. The Ventilated Improved Pit toilets common in other areas are also not desirable and ultimately can contaminate the groundwater as can septic tanks. 

A biogas digester followed by a simple aerobic wastewater treatment system provides decentralised management of waste water allowing safe recycling of the nutrients in human faeces and the dignity of a flush toilet. It save the municipalities the cost of installing and maintaining labyrinthine sewer systems and waste water treatment works. Decentralised waste water treatment is the only way we can roll out toilets to the millions of South Africans forced to defaecate in the open or in less than sanitary environments.
Marisa Naude