On the 15 February 2014, we endeavored to install 10 long drop toilets at a small rural primary school within the eThekwini area.
Nyuswa Primary School is based in KwaNyuswa in the Botha’s Hill area. This school of 126 learners suffers a peculiar problem in that it has very low water pressure most days. Some days, more often than not, they have no water. This poses a huge problem as toilets overflow – not great for the health of the kids or the cleaning staff!
We are Durban were donated 10 pit latrine toilets from Hungerford Schroeder Organisation and together with volunteers a wonderfully dignifying event was born. The event actually started on Thursday morning when a TLB (a big tractor with a digging arm) dug the holes in which the pit liners for the toilets would be sunk. This machine dominated the soil and definitely lessened the load for the volunteers. The Friday afternoon all the top structure materials were delivered to the school and locked away safely in waiting for Saturday.
Bright on the sunny Saturday morning most volunteers met at Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust to drive in convoy to the school. Upon arrival at the school; sunscreen was applied, hats were fitted and tools were thrown over shoulders. Coffee and muffins (and later yummy sandwiches and juice) were supplied by Nic Goodall and brought broad smiles to many faces. The 43 volunteers were divided into 7 teams, which were lead by various men of stature! A little icebreaker involving sellotape and little space between each other was done to get the nerves of new friends out of the way. Apparently Corné van Rooyen’s team won the race to finish the roll of sellotape…they say they complied with rules…?
We then moved to the room where the top structure parts were kept, for a quick explanation of how to assemble a pit latrine toilet. Not many questions were asked as people were keen to start building their toilets! And so it started. Barrie Knox-Davies and company were first to get their pit liner in the ground, but quickly learnt that they had riveted the back wall of the top structure, up side down. They learnt to remove rivets with a skrew-driver very quickly. Gavin Leask and company made the same mistake but reckoned that the extra holes in the wall would help with ventilation. Pieter-Paul van den Heever and company had an argument with a tree root, in the end man won!!! Tammy Addis, Tory Joubert and the ladies from Jabulani Project were excellent shovellers, filling the holes around the pit liners. Although there will be sore backs, blistered hands and fibreglass in everything, we all left feeling very proud of our 10 new toilets and convinced that Nyuswa Primary School will be able to complete their academic syllabus in time.
Thank you everyone for getting involved – you made a meaningful contribution to the upliftment of those less fortunate than ourselves.