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International News: Over 3,000 schools in South Africa still use pit toilets

Posted: Monday, May 22, 2023. 9:47 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: More than 3,000 schools in South Africa still use pit toilets, the Associated Press reports.

At a particular high school, over 300 students and their teachers share 3 toilets.

The pit latrines are 10-feet-deep holes in the ground that students line up during a lunch break to use.

Some of the pit toilets are covered by white toilet seats and enclosed in brick structures, however, in poor and rural areas across South Africa most of them are not covered.

Besides being unhygienic, the latrines also present another direct danger.

In 2014, a 5-year-old pre-schooler was found dead, drowned at the bottom of the pit latrine.

More recently, 2 other children have drowned in the latrines.

The Government had pledged to replace the pit toilets at schools countrywide since March of this year.

However, that is yet to be seen.

Human rights groups are demanding that the pit toilets be eradicated for “safe and decent sanitation facilities.”


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