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Transforming lives: Development Bank of Southern Africa and Breadline Africa lead the fight against pit toilets.

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In the Eastern Cape, 40 new toilet facilities replaced fear-inducing pit toilets, bringing relief to 427 children and 34 teachers.

In April 2023, Breadline Africa embarked on a monumental mission: to eradicate pit toilets from 240 schools in rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. At an estimated budget of R156 million, this ambitious endeavour underscored the urgency of addressing the sanitation crisis plaguing South Africa’s children. Partnering with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), Breadline Africa combined expertise with resources, setting the stage for transformative change. 

Fast forward to 9 May 2024—the launch of the partnership’s first phase. In the Eastern Cape, 40 new toilet facilities replaced fear-inducing pit toilets, bringing relief to 427 children and 34 teachers. Tragically, another child lost their life in a pit toilet, highlighting the critical need for funding to accelerate sanitation projects.

As Marion Wagner, CEO of Breadline Africa, emphasises, the journey ahead is daunting. Despite progress, over 3,900 public schools still rely on pit toilets, compromising the safety and health of countless children. Through collaborations like DBSA’s, Breadline Africa aims to complete 20 schools by end of June, benefiting 7,500 learners and rallying support for South Africa’s children. 

DBSA’s landmark R8.6-million investment stands as a beacon of hope. It exemplifies a commitment to tangible impact, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). With only six years left to achieve the targets, South Africa needs to ramp up its efforts to meet SDG 6 – achieving universal access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene by 2030.

Beyond toilet installations, the initiative prioritises hygiene and health, providing handwashing stations to schools. With each step forward, DBSA and Breadline Africa reaffirm their dedication to transforming lives and building a brighter future for South Africa’s children. 

Get involved

For more information on how you can partner with Breadline Africa to eradicate pit toilets in South African schools, contact Lene Overland at [email protected].

To learn more about our Pit Toilet Replacement Campaign, visit www.breadlineafrica.org/toiletcrisis.

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