Cape Town – Amnesty International South Africa (AISA) has pleaded with government to urgently eradicate all pit toilets from schools and communities following the death of a four-year-old girl.
The child’s body was found inside a pit toilet at her school in Glen Grey, Eastern Cape.
According to police, the girl was found after her mother went to the school to enquire about her whereabouts after she did not return home on Monday.
“A preliminary investigation led to the recovery of the learner’s body in one of the school’s pit toilets. Members from SAPS search and rescue retrieved her body,” police spokesperson Warrant Officer Majola Nkohli said.
Nkohli said police are investigation and an inquest docket has been opened.
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According to AISA’s Executive Director Shenilla Mohamed, the tragedy occurred a week after the Department of Basic Education missed its deadline to get rid of illegal pit toilets in schools, reported TimesLIVE.
She said pit toilets are dangerous and not only violate the right to sanitation but also the right to health, education, dignity and privacy and pose a serious risk to the right to life.
“The DBE must urgently provide an update on how many illegal plain pit toilets remain in schools across South Africa, and eradicate them immediately. No child’s life should be lost because of the failures and shortfalls of the department. By continuing to fail to do so, the DBE is showing total disregard for the basic human rights of learners,” the report quoted Mohamed as saying.
In December a three-year-old child was found dead after he was reported missing.
The child’s body was retrieved the next day from the family’s pit toilet.
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Compiled by Olwethu Mpeshe