About 100 people in the village of Mashakeni attended a Community Learning Workshop on World Toilet Day on 19 November 2012. Alan Hofland, Woza Moya WASH Manager, introduced the aim of this international day of action, to break the taboo around toilets and to draw attention to the global sanitation challenge. He shared some shocking stats: 2.5 billion people do not have access to a clean private toilet; 1.1 billion people defecate in the open; nearly 1.5 million children under the age of 5 die every year from diarrhoea.
S'Bonelo Ndlovu, Paralegal Manager, spoke about how Sanitation is recognized by the United Nations as Human Right. Community members became quite vocal and angry as the dialogue heated up, with regard to their own lack of appropriate sanitation.
Jane Xsasane, Home-based Care Manager, facilitated discussion around Sanitation and Hygiene and the importance of Hand-Washing which can reduce the spread of illness by 50%. People then had a chance to come up with their own slogans for next World Toilet Day. The one that won the day was SHIT HAPPENS, WASH AFTER!
Everyone moved outside to watch Alan and Bheki construct a Tippy-Tap by the Mashakeni Community Hall pit latrines. We then lined up and took turns to wash our hands before lunch. It was amazing to see that almost 100 of us were able to wash our hands from a 5 litre container; nothing short of a miracle!