It’s not All About Flushing: Revolutionizing Sanitation in South Africa
By admin June 19, 2015


South Africa has recently invested billions in a multi-billion dollar Rand project introduced by the South African government that aims to provide South Africans with basic access to sanitation services.


The month of May, had been declared Sanitation and Hygiene Month by the South African Department of Water and Sanitation, with the theme entitled “it’s not all about flushing”.


Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane remarked that “We are determined to introduce low-water and no-water solutions as part of our efforts to deliver sanitation. Dry sanitation solutions must become the reality we work towards in both low- and high-income households going forward.”


The methods currently being used for flushing human waste, are seen as a waste of drinking-quality water, and new technologies such as dry-flushing will provide alternative less wasteful options. Identified by the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordination Commission (PICC) and approved as a Strategic Infrastructure Project (SIP), there are currently 18 operating SIPs across South Africa in the effort to improve the state of sanitation and human settlements in the district municipality, while increasing employment opportunities and   creating poverty alleviation. SIPS also include community water forums which are driven by a people-centered approach.


The SIPs are envisioned to help solve issues such as raw sewage spillage, while simultaneously creating jobs and advancing service delivery. This sanitation revolution will see not only the creation of 6000 jobs, but also ending the bucket system towards the promotion of good hygiene and sanitation practices across the board of several municipalities. Sanitation challenges come from increased urbanization and the proliferation of spontaneous informal settlements, to the detriment of good hygiene and sanitation methods and measures.


It is worth mentioning that South Africa achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the numbers of those without basic sanitation before 2015 in the 2014/2015 fiscal year alone – doing away with 20,560 bucket systems. Much is anticipated from South Africa’s sanitation revolution – every journey begins with a single step and, dry sanitation is the single step into attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.


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