The sanitation situation in Tsholofelo South ward in Gaborone is moving from bad to worse.
Rainwater continues to wash affluent and worms from overflowing pit latrines to peoples’ door steps and the Gaborone City Council (GCC) has said it has no resources to rescue the hazardous situation.
“The toilet is overflowing. Every morning I have to use an old rake to stir the waste so that it settles a bit down. I pull out paper that was used and throw it away,” one of the house owners in Tsholofelo, Norah Tirelo explained.
Tirelo has no other choice, but to perform this stinking ritual because the Council has not been able to drain her toilet, which has been overflowing for the past twelve months.
“We are lucky that free range chickens then come and feast on the worms caused by the dirt, otherwise it would be double tragedy,” she said.
Her neighbour, Nkena Wapitso is going through the same ritual of emptying the toilet.
“We have been waiting for the Council to come and empty our toilets for more than a year without success. In the past we used to hire the services of private honey suckers to clean our toilets, but these days they are scarce,” Wapitso explained.
She was in fact referring to some Council employees who are said to have spent more time making money through petty corrupt tenders such as these and failing to efficiently service some of the people who are on the Council waiting list for the same service.
“What happened was that, those who deserved to be serviced had to wait while the Council employees went about making money from unsuspecting and desperate people who did not even know that they are paying for corruption,” explained the area Councillor, Moagi Taunyane.
Taunyane explained that people were so desperate that one of the residents dug a pit next to his toilet and used a bucket to empty the waste from the toilet into the open pit.
“It was unhygienic and it caused the whole neighbourhood to stink. I had to ask him to stop it.
The old man was desperate I know, but he was putting his health and that of others at risk.
Early this week, Taunyane complained to the Gaborone full Council meeting that something needs to be done urgently, but the Council could not do anything because it has no money.
The Council handed over the service to Water Utilities Corporation last month, leaving more than 500 people in desperate need for their toilets to be drained.
In fact according to the Council report, Water Utilities should have taken over the service in September this year but requested the Council which had no budget for the service to continue providing it pending the take over.