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VIP toilets for Joburg informal settlements

One of the new Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) toilets being provided to residents at informal settlements in Johannesburg.
One of the new Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) toilets being provided to residents at informal settlements in Johannesburg.
Image: Johannesburg Water

Johannesburg Water plans to spend R21-million installing "VIP toilets" at informal settlements in the southern parts of the city.

Joburg MMC for environment and infrastructure services Nico de Jager said yesterday that the target for this financial year was to install 2290 Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) toilets in informal settlements. Joburg Water has started installing 400 in Drieziek Ext 5 and will be moving to Lawley to install 500, 420 in Meriting and ablution blocks in the Zamimpilo informal settlement.

"These VIP toilets will be replacing the old chemical toilets that the residents were using, where they shared one chemical toilet among seven households. These chemical toilets needed to be de-sludged on a daily basis, they did not have ventilation and were not easy to use for children," De Jager said.

"VIP toilets are installed in each household, they come with a ventilation system which assists with reducing odour. A hole that is 1.2metres deep is dug before the toilet is installed to ensure that the toilet does not need to be de-sludged on a daily basis. In fact it can take up to a year before a VIP toilet needs to be de-sludged depending how many people live in that household. These toilets also come with a potty seat that is suitable for children to use, a hand-washing basin and users are able to lock the toilet after each use for security."

De Jager said before a project was handed over to a community, Johannesburg Water would teach residents about the proper use of the new facilities. "These concrete slab structures will provide dignity and improve the lives of these residents. Johannesburg Water is committed to provide quality water and sanitation services to all and we hope members of the communities will protect the infrastructure and ensure its longevity."

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