Tuesday 30 September 2008

Bucket latrines almost eradicated in South Africa

The South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry has just published The National Sanitation Bucket Replacement Programme: Lessons Learnt. This programme was “aimed at replacing all the bucket toilets in formal settlements in South Africa that were established before 1994”. The programme started in February 2005 when a total of 252,254 bucket latrines were in use in formal settlements in South Africa. The original aim was to replace them all by December 2007, mostly by flush toilets or, in some cases, by VIP latrines. The government allocated a total of about ZAR 1.8 billion over the 3-year period 2005/06 − 2007/08 (equivalent to around USD 270 million) − this was “one of the largest allocations for any single government infrastructure project in South Africa”. By December 2007 81% of the bucket latrines had been replaced, and by March 2008 this had risen to 91%. Presumably now the figure is very close to 100%. The DWAF report is really interesting as it gives details on exactly how this very impressive programme worked in practice at national, provincial and local levels. So, very well done, South Africa!

India (see blogs of 18 January, 17 April and 7 August), take note!