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Byo promises to handle public toilets issue

The development follows concerns raised by Bulawayo residents over shortage, poor maintenance and lack of modification of public toilets.

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has said it is working to come up with sustainable ways to circumvent challenges related to public toilets as part of infrastructural development and being competent in service delivery.

The development follows concerns raised by Bulawayo residents over shortage, poor maintenance and lack of modification of public toilets.The challenges have been linked to the spread of cholera with Zimbabwe registering at least 18 000 cases according to information from government this week.In an interview with Southern Eye this week, BCC spokesperson Bongiwe Ngwenya acknowledged that the current stock of public toilets is inadequate although the city plans to build additional toilets.

She encouraged businesses and other organisations to avail places for the convenience of customers and the public to help ameliorate the challenge.Ngwenya said there was need to redesign public toilets, arguing that current by-laws for public buildings specified that they be accessible to all including those using assistive devices such as people with disabilities.

“It should also be noted that the city has in the past done some repairs to public toilets but they are vandalised as soon as they are reopened.“Cholera spread is largely a behavioural issue, either drinking, eating contaminated water or food, not washing hands before handling food.“Ensuring that we separate human waste from food and drinks is a key factor for preventing cholera and other diarrhoeal-related diseases.

“Keeping public toilets clean is behavioural and there is a need for people to consider the next person who will use the public toilet when using it (desist from selfish behaviour).”The majority of public toilets around towns and cities in Zimbabwe have been closed after years of neglect with a few being maintained.Health expect Hamadziripi Dube, however, called on authorities in urban centres to continuously supply clean water to residents to curtail the spread of cholera.

He also called for improved clean water supplies including the drilling of boreholes.“Proper isolation of cholera cases and quick response to treat the affected people, remunerating and increasing health workforce can help the process of eradicating the cholera outbreak,” he said.

Dube also called on authorities redesign public toilets so that they accommodate people with disabilities and be sustainable.“The toilets must be accessible to everyone and free of charge. Disabled people must be able to access the services when need be.“Public toilets must be serviced regularly and have continuous water supply as this may lead to poor maintenance in the period of water cuts.” he said.Dube also said local authorities should improve garbage collection. 

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