Yusuf Alli – Cii News, Pics: Imraan Ismail – June 22, 2012
The South African National Zakaah Fund (SANZAF), Amka products and the South African Water and Sanitation Academy (SAWASA) has launched a project that will see the sanitation facilities in schools throughout South Africa improved.
Dubbed the School Wellness, Sanitation and Hygiene Project, driven by Trevor Maludzi, these corporations have set out to tackle difficulties in modern day education which has been neglected for many a year.
Maludzi, who has a WITS degree and honours in Geology, has earmarked poor sanitation facilities as one of the main reasons for the downfall of the education system in South Africa.
The WITS graduate was inspired by this vision when he passing by a school in Khutsong, when he saw a a group of girls heading towards a shebeen or beer hall during school hours. When the humanitarian approached the girls and questioned them for not being in school, they told him that the toilets in the school were un-usable, so they used the restrooms in a local shebeen.
Maludzi observed that students frequenting the shebeen to use its facilities and noticed that some youngsters even took a quick swig before going back to class.
Upon this discovery, Maludzi went to inspect the school toilets which were locked and had to be opened with a screwdriver. The condition of the toilets in the school were described as appalling. Maludzi immediately began his campaign of ensuring that the toilets in schools were cleaned.
“What if I stood in front of God on Judgment Day and he asks me why I walked away” said Maludzi, as he immediately got to work in cleaning lavatories. Maludzi told reporters in a briefing on Thursday that “we must stand up for those who can’t sit down (on toilet seats).”
The Geologist handed in his resignation at work and pledged his time to the upkeep of school lavatories as he believed that clean sanitation is a vital part in the success of learners in South Africa. With no financial backing, Maludzi soon found himself running out of funds and resources.
The South African National Zakaah Fund, a South African aid organisation who deals with welfare cases in South Africa, were currently running a school clean-up campaign heard about the plight of Maludzi and came to his assistance. Director Hoosen Essof , who isn’t unfamiliar to school projects, invited Maludzi to join SANZAF’s school cleaning project.
SANZAF, who are involved in cleaning up around eight schools, together with Maludzi now have two new missions, that’s making sure the toilets are clean and various schools, and teaching children the basic fundamentals of using a toilet and keeping it clean.