RESIDENTS of Esiphahleni, northern KwaZulu-Natal have breathed a sigh of relief following the launch of a sanitation programme in the area.
The programme, which involves the provision of improved pit toilets, will be undertaken jointly by the University of Pretoria and the Water Research Commission.
The two have come up with a better developed and removable ventilated improved pit toilet units to help communities.
"We are in need of better toilets because the ones we received previously with the municipality's help were hard to move and broke down whenever we wanted to place them on new pits," said resident Zamokuhle Mthethwa.
Mthethwa said she hoped the new toilets would make life easy for women as they were more affected by the situation.
Prior to the introduction of the new toilet, the Water Research Commission had conducted research in underdeveloped areas, which led to the joint initiative with the university.
David Still, who is spearheading the research, said: "In some areas municipalities failed to monitor the state of toilets."
Elsabe Kearsley of the University of Pretoria said the toilet structures could be assembled in less than 30 minutes.
She said the toilets, which had been developed as a modular unit, could also be made in communities by trained artisans.
Water Research Commission director of water use and waste management Jay Bhagwan said: "The technology can be adapted to meet the requirements of other technical alternatives."