Namibia
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One toilet per 100 residents a health time bomb

Sara Sikerete (27) from Babylon informal settlement in Windhoek says more than 100 residents make use of one toilet at the settlement.

“It’s unhygienic and the toilet is not cleaned every day,” she says.

“Our children make use of the open area because they can’t make use of the toilet the adults use,” she says.

Sikerete says residents use buckets at night, “however, one cannot rely on a bucket when one has diarrhoea”.

Other residents at the settlement’s Block B area have also raised concerns over the lack of hygiene in the area.

They say their health is compromised.

When nature calls, residents are forced to queue up, and the situation sometimes gets out of hand, they say.

Another resident, Julius Nsamaba (34), whose household comprises five people, of which one is a child with a disability and is not able to walk, says he has dug a whole behind his house for this child.

The rest of his family uses the river bed, he says.

Ester Hangula, who has been living at the settlement since 1993, says she has seen it develop, but the toilets that were built by the municipality nearly a decade ago, are out of order and need to be renovated, she says.

“We all queue up for the toilet, and it’s an uncomfortable situation,” she says.

Hangula says the constituency councillor is aware of the situation, but nothing has been done until now.

Emilia Gabriel, who has been residing at the settlement for over two decades, says apart from their privacy being infringed upon, there is a need for access to electricity, because when it’s dark at night, going to the toilet is dangerous.

When contacted for comment, Tobias Hainyeko constituency councillor Christopher Likuwa referred The Namibian to the City of Windhoek.

City of Windhoek spokesperson Harold Akwenye said he was not aware of the situation at the settlement and will provide comment when he has sufficient information.