Learners endure years of blocked toilets

Learners endure years of blocked toiletsIn 2011, a national task team noted the deplorable state of sewage systems in Makwassie, which regularly overflowed into streams, homes and rivers due to blockages (File photo)

Thengwe Secondary School boarders say they have endured years of overflowing toilets that send dirty water into hallways and rooms.

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Boarding House owner Nndanduleni Ramaliba has promised to fix the problem - and put in place strict rules about what goes down toilets & drains (file photo)
Boarding House owner Nndanduleni Ramaliba has promised to fix the problem – and put in place strict rules about what goes down toilets & drains (file photo)

Students told OurHealth that not a month goes by in which toilets do not flood and send human waste into hallways and rooms. The problem has been going on since at least 2012, said one student who asked to remain anonymous.

Fellow student Mulalo Ratshilingana confirmed the students’ allegations. Ratshilingana says students have complained but are left with little option in terms of alternative accommodation since many come from families who stay far away from the secondary school.

“We have reported this to the owner of the (building) so many times,” Ratshilingana told OurHealth. “He once came and witnessed our problem and promised to come back and fix it.”

“He sends some people to come and repair the pipes (but the repairs) never last for more than a month,” Ratshilingana added.

OurHealth contacted the building’s owner Nndanduleni Ramaliba, who says the recurring problem stems from boarders using newspaper in lieu of toilet paper. This – in addition to chicken bones and even egg shells flushed down the loos – leads to blockages, he said.

“I went there to see what was really the problem and I found out that people are using newspapers in the toilet and they throw things like bones, egg shells and other things into the sinks,” he said. “That is causing the pipes to block and when that happens, waste comes back and floods all over the place.”

“We have set a rule of never throwing anything that should go to the rubbish bin into the sink,” said Ramaliba, who added that he had arranged for new pipes to be installed as well. “If any of the residents are caught doing that, they will be banished from the boarding (house).”