The Toilet Crisis: inequality and the right to sanitation

11 July 2016

In January 2014, people around the world were horrified to learn that a young boy had drowned after falling in a pit latrine at his school in the Limpopo province in South Africa. Although not the first of its kind, the horrifying event raised awareness of the realities that exist for many South African schools. It is not uncommon for schools and Early Childhood Development Centres to lack flushing toilets, leading to sanitation issues and a grave lack of privacy for the children. There is often no sink for washing hands and no accommodations for female students during menstruation. Class time is wasted while students wait in line to use toilets, which often only consist of a pit in the ground. Many of the ECD centres that Breadline Africa has worked with lack these basic amenities and faculty constantly stress their dire need for new infrastructure. Toilets may not be the first necessity that donors think of when they decide to provide aid, but it is one of the most important.

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