Having a proper toilet to call one’s own still remains a distant dream for many in Namibia’s informal settlements, but for some Ileni residents this dream has finally come true.
Twenty households at Ileni on Tuesday each received a flushing toilet with a shower.
The recipients were overjoyed, saying it has been a long time coming as they have gotten tired of using the open space whenever nature calls, and they can now also take a decent shower.
“I have been here for a long time – it’s not good to go to the bush, and the public toilets are always dirty and broken, so I’m very happy that we finally have our own toilet,” said Anakleta Swartbooi upon receiving the keys to her new toilet.
Officially handing over the toilets, Keetmanshoop Urban Constituency Councillor and Veterans Affairs Deputy Minister Hilmar Nikanor urged the recipients to take full ownership of the toilets and guard against vandalism.
She reminded recipients that it is their right as citizens to enjoy such privileges, but that it is incumbent upon them to take very good care of the toilets.
“These toilets are yours, it’s your right to have proper sanitation,” she stressed.
She further said that government is committed to ensure every Namibian has proper sanitation, but sometimes developments take long due to lack of finances.
Nikanor then called on the community to refrain from social ills such as drug and alcohol abuse, stressing that the government might not be able to achieve some of its programmes because of problems related to such abuse.
She called on individuals that make alcohol easily accessible to stop doing so “as this will hamper government efforts to develop the country”.
She further called on residents to stand up and fight against destructive tendencies in the community, “as this is the only way Namibia can become prosperous”.
“If we don’t we may prolong the road to prosperity and we can’t do that.”
The 20 toilets were built to the tune of N$400 000 with funds sourced from the coffers of the //Karas Regional Council.