Second city reduces use of pit latrines

There is imminent positive change sweeping through the city of Francistown as Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) moves to stop servicing pit latrines in areas that have access to a sewerage network.

The discontinuation of pit latrine service scheduled to commence of April 1st is in line with vision 2022, as Francistown strives to become a cleaner and prosperous place, WUC has said.

“Health benefits of terminating the use of pit latrines in preference of a waterborne system are obvious. It drastically reduces the risk of waterborne diseases, especially to children who frequently play around pit latrines and septic tanks. It will eliminate the contamination of underground water resources. Pit latrines also pollute the air and breed cockroaches,” said Waterworks Engineer, Taita Tlhabologang.

However, Tlhabologang admitted that the switch will also save WUC a lot of money, saying, “It is expensive for the corporation to operate two parallel systems at the same time.

“The sewerage network is underutilised. The city of Francistown is adequately serviced with a competent sewerage system but, despite having access to the system, many residents still resort to using pit latrines.”

It is important to note that WUC will continue to offer pit latrine emptying services to the few areas of the city that do not have access to a sewerage network.

This includes parts of the Blocks, Kgaphamadi, Tatitown and Bluetown, all of which have a limited sewer line capacity.

Francistown city mayor, Sylvia Muzila welcomed the impending change.

“We no longer want pit latrines. It’s time to hook up to the sewer where it is available and, where it is not, then it is time to build the infrastructure to make it available,” Muzila said.

However, ‘hooking up’ will come at a cost – a connection fee of P1, 500, which customers can pay outright or in three installments.

There will also be a monthly wastewater bill, calculated based on the amount of portable water used by the consumer that month.

Station on Tuesday afternoon, with massive police escort.

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