The Chairperson of the Molepolole Pensioners’ Committee, Douglas Lecholo, on Monday came with an alternative of water usage; especially for sanitation purposes. He said there is a borehole in the village, which has lots of water and which could be used in the toilets since its water is contaminated.
This was during Kweneng District’s community service event where the council served the elderly with soup and bread at Mathibantwa Post Office.
“Water is such a serious problem that as elderly we have to spend hours in cues when we come to claim our pensions without relieving ourselves, just because the water system toilets are unusable. Nevertheless, a borehole there has had volumes of water for many years. Water from this borehole should be connected to toilets in Post Offices and the council may use it for sanitation since it is polluted,” said Lecholo.
He further stated that as pensioners they have challenges of lack of shelter at Post Offices where they get their pensions. As summer is approaching, they are beginning to worry that they are going to be forced in their old age to stand for hours in the scotching heat. They are going to endure the same pain in wet weather. The council should consider building shelters for them, to protect them from such harsh weather.
To his fellow elderly, he said that they should meet before they make any official complaints to the council leadership. One idea, he said, could be to find if they could not reserve P10 each to purchase toiletry, which they can use when they visit the toilets. This is necessitated by the fact that the toilets at their pay points are under resourced – something that leaves the elderly with no alternative except to use hard paper (newspapers) or even harder material, leading to possible blockage.
The same little funds, he said, could further be accumulated until enough for the opening of a Burial Society for pensioners’ account with Barclays.
“The Bank has what is called Barclays Motshelo, which can be helpful to elderly people whose years are ending. If opened, children of these elderly could benefit maybe P2000 or so withdrawn from such ‘society’s, account,” he said in a brief interview.
His advice followed a keynote address by the Council Secretary, Wazha Tema, who had pointed out the fact that the elderly have good advice and should not be left behind when decisions are made on their behalf. He said they, as the council, would in the future establish a Customer Complaints Centre where even the elderly will be allowed to lodge their complaints. They should start, as they were served the soup, to whisper to the leadership what they needed.
Another pensioner, Onkemetse Koothopile, complained about livestock kept in ploughing areas, which are not properly cared for and go around destroying crops of the elderly who cannot wake up at night to chase them away. Such farmers, he said, should be punished.
The community service will in the future be rolled out to other places in the Kweneng District.