Faizel Patel – Cii News and Agencies (08-08-12)
Durban will host the 12th World Toilet Summit in December in an attempt to flush out the problems lack of sanitation can cause. The summit, to be held at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from December 3, would also see the grand finale of the African Toilet Design Competition.
Alfie Heeger, chairman of the SA Toilet Organisation, said in South Africa alone there were some 1.4 million households, or about five million people, who did not have access to toilets – most of them in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.
Children are the most vulnerable to the lack of proper sanitation. According to the World Health Organisation, without proper toilet facilities, one child died every 15 seconds from diseases such as diarrhoea caused by oral faecal contamination.
Heefer said there was no shortage of toilets or toilet manufacturers, but rather a lack of political will. He said some municipalities in the Free State and Limpopo had not put out tenders for building toilet facilities for more than two years.