Khorixas – The residents of Fransfontien settlement in Kunene Region say they are tired of having to use worm-infested bucket toilets.
“We’re experiencing a crisis as sometimes there are worms in our bucket toilets. As women this gives us infections,” said Lisette Goaxas, a resident of Fransfontien, which is situated about 30 kilometers from Khorixas, told New Era on Friday.
According to Goaxas, the Fransfontien settlement office had promised since 2014 that the residents there would get proper toilets, but to date nothing has materialised.
The toilets are near the houses and are unhygienic, as it is difficult to eat anything in their vicinity. The toilets are also emptied around the time most households have their meals.
“These toilets are emptied at times we eat our food,”Goaxas complained and advised that the buckets should rather be emptied early in the mornings. The bucket toilets are emptied twice a week, but the toilets become worm-infested, as the contractor apparently does not always empty them on time.
Goaxas said if flush toilets cannot be built they would prefer pit latrines. “We’re concerned that we are left out, because when President Hage Geingob said bucket toilets will be done away in the south, Kunene Region was not mentioned.”
She further said that residents are frustrated, as nothing tends to happen after elections, although during election campaigns improving the conditions of rural communities is always high on the agenda.
Fransfontien settlement administration officer Reginald Roman, gave assurances to the residents that the needs of the community are being prioritised at the grassroots and settlement development committee level. “My take on the matter is that we submitted a list of households still using the bucket toilet system, for which the Kunene Regional Council appointed an annual night-soil removal contractor, who does it (empties the toilets) twice a week,” Roman said and referred further questions to Kunene Regional Council’s acting chief regional officer, Joseph Jantze, but the latter said he was in a meeting when contacted for comment.
Fransfontien is one of many settlements in Namibia – including those in the southern part of the country – that still use bucket toilets.