Environment SA petrol company pledges R2.5m to help eradicate pit latrines at schools

SA petrol company pledges R2.5m to help eradicate pit latrines at schools

Engen has a plan to help put an end to pit toilets in schools

A South African petrol brand has pledged an initial R2.5m in support of Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE), which aims to eradicate pit latrines in schools across the country.

SAFE was officially launched on February 6 at Madima Primary School, Saulspoort (Rampipi Section), Modderkuil, in the North-West province. 

Builders from the community helped transform the school’s ablution facilities, which now include brand-new bathroom quarters.

These include 10 toilets and six basins for the girls’ bathroom, as well as four toilets, six urinals and three basins for the boys’ bathroom.

With its donation, Engen is partnering with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Department of Education on the SAFE initiative.

The company’s head of transformation and stakeholder engagement, Unathi Magida, says the company is honoured to heed government’s call to help eradicate the scourge of pit latrines at schools.

“With education being Engen’s Corporate Social Responsibility flagship programme, and as a business with heart, we collaborated with key strategic partners to ensure that more schools have safe and decent sanitation.”

Engen’s Unathi Magida

The United Nations Development Programme estimates that, globally, there are more than 2.4 billion people who do not have access to basic sanitation like toilets.

As part of government’s private sector partnership programme, and in collaboration with the department of education, rural and township primary schools in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and North West provinces were identified for modern sanitation upgrades. 

“Access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation is a right, not a privilege,” Magida says. “This is why supporting the SAFE school sanitation initiative is so important for Engen. 

“Not only will dignified, age-appropriate sanitation facilities improve learners’ health and safety, it will also enable them to focus on their studies and attend school with dignity.”

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