Saturday, July 2, 2022

Francistown public toilets pose a health hazard

Use of the public pay toilets in Francistown poses a health hazard because of their unhygienic state. The toilets, which are owned by the Francistown City Council, have been outsourced.

Upon entry, one is greeted with an unbearably odorous smell and spills of urine as the toilets’ water systems are defective. The water pipes are dilapidated, leading urine infected water to spill everywhere and thereby exposing users to serious health hazards.

The situation has led to some members of the public relieving themselves in illegal areas in the city, and creating more health risks.

We visited the offending edifice and were charged P2 to use the toilets.

To our dismay, there was urine infected water all over the place. There was no sign that the toilets have ever been cleaned. We also discovered the unsavoury state of the leaking pipes.

We asked the assistants who failed to provide us with answers but, instead, referred us to the city council saying they were not responsible for the maintenance of the toilets.  

Confronted on the situation, the assistants confirmed they were aware of the situation, but they are unable to do anything as the responsibility for maintenance lies with the council and their employers.

A concerned member of the public who preferred anonymity told The Sunday Standard in an interview last week that public toilets remain a huge concern and the situation needs to be attended by the relevant authorities.

“The situation of our public toilets in the city has led to some people relieving themselves in different public areas, posing risks to our health. One other disturbing thing is that most of the assistants who work in these toilets are not cooperative and they are very arrogant,” he said.

 Lenty Kabelo, a taximan at the Francistown bus rank, also told The Sunday Standard that the issue of toilets in Francistown needs to be attended to as fast as possible as it poses serious health hazards to the public. He said that the toilets are always in a dilapidated state and are never well cleaned. He also raised concern over shortage of public toilets in the city, adding that such a situation is a serious challenge.

“People do not have a choice and they end up urinating or defecating everywhere. There is a strong need by the city council to do something about this situation before a lot of people in the city get infections because the toilets have been in a dilapidated state for a very long time. To make matters worse, the assistants at the toilets are very arrogant,” he said.

Kabelo added that some people resort to the use of bushes or hide behind buildings to relieve themselves.

Reached for comment, the Mayor of Francistown, James Kgalajwe, declined to comment saying that the city council cannot take responsibility over the toilets as they have been leased to private companies.

“I am not aware of such an outcry. We as the city council are not responsible for such a problem because we have since leased the toilets to private companies,” he said.

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