Private sector must assist govt to eliminate bucket toilets

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Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Windhoek-The Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa, has called on the private sector to join forces with the government to help eliminate the use of bucket toilets. Government needs about N$75.9 million to eliminate the bucket toilet system in the country.

She made the call during the handing over of the N$250,000 donation by Sanlam towards the government’s bucket toilet elimination initiative in the capital on Friday.

The year 2017 is the year the government has set as the deadline to double the number of Namibian households with access to sanitation.

Statistically the quest is to improve sanitation from the current 34 percent to 70 percent of the population by year-end.

Shaningwa earlier this year promised not to rest until the roll-out of 50,000 rural toilets proposed under the social progression pillar of the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

Shaningwa said the ministry is targeting to eliminate bucket toilets and assist some 1,852 households that are historically using the bucket system in Maltahöhe, Hoachanas, Gibeon, Klein-Aub in the Hardap Region, Aus, Berseba, Koës in the //Karas Region, Fransfontein in the Kunene, Gobabis in Omaheke and Kalkfeld in the Otjozondjupa Region, which will cost N$75.9 million.

She expressed profound gratitude to Sanlam for its generous contribution, assuring the company that the ministry has a plan and its money will be used for the intended purpose.

“The money will make a visible difference to the needy communities who are living in regions where we plan to expand our bucket toilet elimination programmes,” said Shaningwa.

She said the realisation of the government’s sanitation goals require collaborative efforts from the government, the private sector, the community and donor partners.

She said that since independence, the government has identified and prioritized sanitation as one of the conditions for socio-economic development and placed improved access to potable water and sanitation facilities and services high on its agenda.

“As a demonstration of commitment to address sanitation, the government has adopted a National Sanitation Strategy and is a signatory to continental and international conventions that seek to place sanitation and hygiene at the top of its development agenda,” said Shaningwa.

She said this strategy recognizes and provides for the construction and provision of standardised subsidised toilets and also community involvement, advocacy and a change of behaviour and improved coordination among the various role players in the sector.

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