THE sanitation crisis in Nelson Mandela Bay requires urgent and innovative interventions to restore dignity to our poorest communities. The insufficient budget for the eradication of the bucket system is an indictment of the leadership of the municipality.
The recent increase in this budget from R500000 (2012-13) to R9-million (2013-14) is owed to the DA's relentless efforts to highlight the crisis.
On May 29 a Smartsan sanitation system project was piloted in Ward 11, Korsten. This system comprises a sealed, odourless digester unit connected to four concrete huts with complete waterborne toilets.
Smartsan is a green sanitation system based on nano-technology, and is designed for rural and informal areas under severe water stress where the basic infrastructure for water and waste water is not economically feasible. The key criteria taken into consideration when constructing this unit are:
- The reduction of impact on water usage in households (up to 70%);
- The health and hygiene of its users;
- Contamination prevention;
- Avoiding the destruction of the environment, and the sewage pollution of ground water resources and river systems.
Currently, there is R9-million in the sanitation budget for the eradication of the bucket system. We need at least 10 times this amount.
However, if this R9-million is used effectively, it can provide 220 digester units which can support 880 toilets and restore dignity to 4400 individuals. Once the families from the informal settlement are provided with RDP homes, these units can be relocated to another settlement.
All that is required is proper planning and implementation.
Isaac Adams, Ward 11 DA councillor, Port Elizabeth