Charity Fund Aims to End Pit Latrines

| June 11, 2015

Francistown City Mayor, Ms Sylvia Muzila has implored the private sector, individuals and the civil society to join hands and assist underprivileged members of the community.

Speaking at the annual Mayor’s Charity fundraising dinner recently, Ms Muzila explained that the fund, which started back in 1992, at one point became dormant because there was no proper structures to coordinate it.

However, she said in 2012, the council through the social welfare department, resuscitated it and named it the Mayor’s Charity Fund.

The aim of the fund raising dinner, she noted, was to assist poor members of the community who lived under deplorable conditions and still used pit latrines.

“More worrying is the fact that even young children who are vulnerable to diseases use these pit latrines which pose a serious health and environmental hazard,” she said.

The fund, she added, intended to eradicate pit latrines in the city, especially for poor households.

She indicated that the Francistown city council could not afford to assist the community unaided and needed help from other stakeholders in pursuit of such just cause.

Further, she explained that contributing to the fund by stakeholders would go a long way in helping the city to realise its Vision 2022 which aims to make it an investment destination of choice.

“We cannot attract investors to our city when we still have pit latrines in our homes. An investment destination of choice has to be clean,” she said.

On other issues, she explained that poverty was a major concern in Botswana and noted that the city council had other responsibilities to the poor such as providing food baskets, toiletry, school uniforms and psycho-social support.

Therefore, she asserted that they needed stakeholders to play their part in developing the city.

She thanked the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for coming aboard in the last three years by giving P30 000 annually to the fund.

So far, she said they have managed to build 18 waterborne toilets for the needy within the city.

However, she explained that the fund would not benefit those households that were renting out their houses.

“We will not assist those households with pit latrines but are being rented out. We will rather encourage them to convert to waterborne toilets or urge tenants to demand these from landlords,” she said.Ms Muzila noted that building one waterborne toilet cost around P7000 per household hence their decision not to put the out for tender but rather do it in-house as construction companies quoted exorbitant amounts.The City Clerk, Mr Lebuile Israel informed attendants that the responsibility for developing the city was for everybody and not the council alone. He highlighted that for the city to be vibrant and attractive, stakeholders needed to aim high and work together.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Medical/Health Care

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