Dump the Bucket Toilet System – Witbooi

PARLIAMENTARIAN Lucia Witbooi on Thursday called for the scraping of the bucket toilet system in Namibia.

Speaking in the National Assembly last week, Witbooi said the bucket toilet system is unhygienic and should be completely done away with.

She was contributing to the report by the Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs on decentralising service delivery in the Kunene and Erongo regions.

“The Namibia Planning Commission allocates funds for the construction of better sewerage systems every year, which is commendable. However, we need to speed up the process and do away with the dry toilet system,” said Witbooi.

She said the vacuum sewerage system does not suit the country at all since it is technically challenging and has to be maintained every day.

“Local authorities cannot afford the daily maintenance,” she said.

Witbooi gave an example of Gibeon village where she said the sewerage system gets blocked and pushes waste back into the shower cubicles.

“In this village, children swim in ponds contaminated by sewage, which is a serious health hazard,” she said.

The chairperson of the committee, Evelyn !Nawases-Taeyele, said there is need for the decentralisation of public services in the country.

She said places like Omaruru, Arandis, Usakos and Swakopmund continuously face sanitary problems.

“We know the government is doing its best to provide proper sanitation but we need to move faster. The problem is an urgent one and is teething in places like Okangwati, Sesfontein and Usakos,” said !Nawases-Taeyele.

She further said there is a budget for the provision of sanitation services in accordance with the fourth National Development Plan (NDP4) and the three-year rolling development budget for 2014 to 2016.

Failure to decentralise these much-needed public services, she said, puts pressure on people to migrate to urban areas in search of better opportunities. This, she said, puts towns and cities like Windhoek under pressure to provide housing, water, sanitation and other services.

“Water is one of the most essential services, especially in places like Okombahe and Omatjete where infrastructure has become rundown and needs replacement,” said !Nawases-Taeyele, adding that of the 400 households in Uis, only 20 have access to potable water.

!Nawases-Taeyele urged the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry as well as the Ministry of Regional and Local Government and Housing and Rural Development to work with NamWater on these issues.

“The tariffs are too high, and we encourage the Ministry of Mines and Energy as well as NamPower to look at other viable ways to address these concerns,” she added.

The committee also looked at issues such as lack of adequate housing in rural and urban areas, especially for the Wlotzkasbaken settlement in Erongo region where people are in desperate need of land to build their own homes.

Source : The Namibian