THE Government has initiated measures to improve sanitation in rural communities under the Rural Transformation Programme by introducing flushable toilets.
According to statistics, 70 percent of the population resides in rural areas and 60 percent of that population is vulnerable to open defecation. The Government is in the process of phasing out blair toilets and pit latrines and replacing them with Eaziflush Sanitation Technology.
In a Ministerial Statement to Parliament last week, Minister of National Housing and Social Amenities Cde Daniel Garwe said the flushing toilet system implementation will be in phases with rural schools, clinics and community centres being the first to use the cheapest toilet flushing system which will improve rural communities’ sanitation.
“The cheapest flushable toilet system which is to replace blair and pit latrine toilets will be cheap in both manufacturing and maintenance with the system using at least two litres of grey water per flush in comparison to the conventional system which uses seven to nine litres of potable water. Additional requirements include the erection of a septic tank and a soak away. The design of the septic tank and soak away is subject to the number of people using the system,” he said.
Minister Garwe said the flushable toilets will be manufactured from recycled plastic paper.
“The system has been developed, installed, tried and tested at Glen Wood Primary School in Epworth as a pilot project and it was a success and we are hopeful that it will be a success through all the phases with schools, clinics and community centres being on Phase 1 of the programme,” he said.
He said the Ministry of Industry and Commerce through the application of the National Quality Policy will be approached in setting up stocks designs or prototypes to be replicated countrywide with the Standards Association of Zimbabwe and the Harare Institute of Technology also being key players in design and development.
Minister Garwe said the programme may be funded through Schools Development Associations, Constituency Development Fund, Devolution Fund or donor participation and talks of directing part of the Constituency Development Funds towards financing its implementation were underway.