School sanitation and pit litrines

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School sanitation and pit litrines


Scarab replaces pit latrines in rural schools
Pit latrines
(or longdrops) are simple structures, where a deep man-made hole is covered with a toilet seat. These facilities were designed to enclose toilets/ pans, and were placed directly on top of the hole, often without a concrete base. The loo could simply fall over, or break, and perhaps whilst in use. Some cases, there is not even a toilet, but a wooden cover with a hole in the middle. Whilst many VIP's offers walls and roof structures, some were badly erected and the inside areas were prone to rainwater ingress, thus becoming slippery. Furthermore, all parents will know that children will mess, and community ablution facilities in a rural town are notorious for unhygienic conditions.

Flushing away pit latrines in Limpopo
These primitive sewerage disposal methods have always been considered a bottom (pun intended) of the line sewage disposal method, afforded to rural villagers, the poor and the destitute.  These facilities were neither safe, sustainable nor environmentally friendly, and there was great risk to the health of the people.  The water supply to the villagers was highly vulnerable to contamination of ground water water from polluted boreholes, and streams.  

They are death traps.
Recent reports of children falling into these pit toilets, and perishing under tragic circumstances, is unacceptable. When kids die, the whole community suffers, and there is sadness and resentment. Quite justifiably so, as the very next day, the same facilities are used, for the very same reason.  They have to go. 
The communal VIP concept has now been flushed. 
Sanitation Solutions for rural communities  The Olifants Management Model programme, initiated by community based NPO -
Lebalelo Water Users Association and the Department of Water and Sanitation, to remove VIP's in Limpopo. Scarab is delighted to be selected to provide their sewage treatment system in this project at Kwata Primary School. 
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Scarab  was invited to the launch function on the 14th March 2023, of this new phase in the permanent removal of the VIP toilets at schools in Limpopo.  Top dignitaries from the Dept Water & Sanitation - Dep Minister, David Mahlobo, the mayor, and Kobus Duvenhage - Programme director of Lebalelo, Tim Boshof, and the engineer Dries Grundlingh, attended this event.
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Besides the removal of VIP's, the school inherited new change rooms, toilet block, an IT centre, internet and solar power. The Scarab system recycles the treated wastewater to flush the toilets, thus saving water.
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Whilst we have not been vocal enough about the terrible state of the young learners plight in dealing with school sanitation, it takes these visits to rural areas to fully understand the danger that lurks there. Over the many years, families have become so  accustomed to living in squalor, it becomes the norm. The people stop complaining - whats the point, right? The local authorities feel that they are performing in the best interests of the community, and relax.

Then a child dies.

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