Limpopo Social Development raises concerns after latest pit toilet death

Three-year-old Monono Omari died in the toilet at a relatives’ home in Moletji on Thursday.

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CAPE TOWN – The Limpopo Social Development Department has raised concern after the latest death of a Limpopo child in a pit latrine.

Three-year-old Monono Omari died in the toilet at a relatives’ home in Moletji on Thursday.

It’s understood he had been left unattended for a few minutes and a family member discovered his lifeless body.

The department's Joel Seabi says: “We want to call on all parents and on all members of our society to take care of their children and make sure that at all times they know where they are, what they are doing and be able to take care of them.”

PLANS TO DISPATCH SOCIAL WORKERS

The department says it plans to dispatch a team of social workers today to assist the family of the boy.

Tragedy struck on Wednesday, after Omari aunt's apparently left him to relieve himself in the outside toilet, while she continued with her chores. She became worried when she realised she hadn't seen him for some time and reported the matter to police after her search proved unsuccessful.

Seabi says: “For now it’s all we know and we’ll be dispatching our social workers to visit the family and find out what really happened and be able to assist them with whatever they might need.”

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Women’s Network will on Friday visit the family.

The tragedy again highlights the desperate dehumanising conditions under which many of the country's poor live.

Rights group Section 27's Zukiswa Pikoli says: “It reinforces the need for the eradication of the pit toilets and provision of safe and adequate sanitation not only in schools but throughout the country.”

Omari is not the first child to die in a pit latrine in that province.

In 2014, five-year-old Michael Komape died the same way at his primary school.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)