Pit toilet death: Intervention needed

Equal Education says the health and safety dangers of pit latrines at schools must be looked at.

Equal Education says the health and safety dangers of pit latrines at schools must be looked at.  Picture: Tara Meaney/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Education advocacy group Equal Education says the death of a grade R pupil who fell into a pit toilet in Limpopo demonstrates the health and safety dangers of pit latrines at schools.

Six-year-old Michael Komape died after falling into the toilet at Mahlodumela Primary this week.

He went to use the toilet during break and his teacher only realised hours later that he was missing.

Limpopo has been plagued by a sanitation crisis for more than two years, with in excess of 4,000 schools having little or no ablution services.

The group says this crisis needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Furthermore, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says the Limpopo education department should acknowledge its problems and accept help from the private sector and other political parties in fighting the lack of proper sanitation in schools.

The DA's Desiree van der Walt said, "It's time that the department get help from the private sector because they aren't able to deliver on this matter. They shouldn't be ashamed to take donations from either the private sector or other political parties."