Amnesty International SA: Crisis around sanitation in schools getting worse

Thursday marks World Toilet Day and it has reminded South Africans of the heart-breaking story of five-year-old Michael Komape who drowned in a pit toilet at his Limpopo primary school in 2014.

FILE: A pit toilet at a Limpopo school. Picture: Tara Meaney/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Amnesty International South Africa said it was possible that the crisis around sanitation at South African schools was getting worse as the country focused on the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday marks World Toilet Day and it has reminded South Africans of the heartbreaking story of five-year-old Michael Komape, who drowned in a pit toilet at his Limpopo primary school in 2014.

In February, Amnesty International released a report that found over 4,000 public schools were still having to use pit latrines for sanitation while 37 schools had nothing at all.

Shenilla Mohamed is the executive director of Amnesty International South Africa and she said that this was shocking.

“The Department of Education in Limpopo told us it would take 14 years to replace all the pit toilets if they continue at this pace. Now what we’re saying is that’s not good enough where they are in unhygienic, unsafe and actually dangerous conditions.”

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