FRANSFONTEIN – Residents at the north western settlement of Fransfontein want proper toilets because the colonial-era bucket toilet system they are using is unsustainable, as most of the residents do not have toilets.
A 76-year-old resident, who refused to give her name, showed this journalist the toilet she uses.
“My toilet is leaky and dilapidated and at times I use the bushes. We do not know where we stand 28 years after independence,” said the elderly woman.
The 76-year-old, whose household consists of her husband and five children, relies on a 20-litre bucket to relieve herself and the bucket toilet area is covered with empty maize bags and boxes.
“It’s painful but what must we do? We are left in the dark and we feel that we are completely left out,” 76-year-old said emotional.
Frans !Aoxamub said his household does not have a toilet and he uses bushes when nature calls.
“It’s scary but when we want to relieve ourselves, we have to visit the bushes even at night and imagine at night time elephants come to the settlement but what must we do,” !Aoxamub said.
Jesaja Ilonga, a Swapo leader at Fransfontein confirmed he had received residents’ concerns, including the use of the unhygienic bucket toilets and that Elias Xoagub, the Khorixas constituency councillor at the Khorixas Swapo District office knows about the community’s predicament since 2015.
Ilonga said, “I was told they will work on them and a few months ago Cde Xoagub told me that government works timely according to their budget.”
In 2007, the Minister of Rural and Urban Development, Sophia Shaningwa, vowed in Opuwo to eliminate the bucket toilet system in Namibia by the end of last year, promising she would not rest until the roll-out of 50,000 rural toilets proposed under the Harambee Prosperity Plan was realised.
In 2013, a local daily also reported that at times the bucket toilets were worm-infested and women at times were scared to get infections but had no option but to use them.
Xoagub confirmed receiving Ilonga’s letter and said that proper toilets were supposed to be built last December but due to financial shortcomings they were not.
New Era was informed that tenders for the construction of the toilets will be advertised in two weeks. “It’s just a matter of time before toilets are constructed, but it will be before the end of the year,” emphasised Xoagub.