Sanitation Rights Become Reality for Elomo Learners

7th December 2023


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The lack of proper toilets has become a thing of the past for more than 120 learners at Elomo Primary School following an intervention by the Zululand Anthracite Colliery (ZAC) to build new ablution facilities. The facilities were officially handed over to the school, which is situated in the Elomo area in Mahlabathini, KwaZulu Natal during a ceremony held on 05 December 2023.

Prior to the construction of toilets, the 122 learners who are in Grades R to 7 used mobile latrines which the school received following the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic. Before 2020, Elomo was completely without toilets. In search of a solution, the school’s principal Samkelisiwe Dlamini approached ZAC for assistance. “Our school is in a deep rural area which means we are always in need of support so we can continue serving the community. I do not know how to describe the joy we felt after ZAC accepted our application for a donation,” said Dlamini.

According to the World Health Organisation good sanitation promotes regular school attendance especially for girl children, while reducing the risk of serious illnesses like diarrhoea. Through its Social and Labour Plan projects, ZAC supports the development of its host communities, focusing on education, infrastructure, and skills training among other things. Induna Zwane, described the project as a source of relief. “We welcome this development because our teachers and learners will benefit from a healthier environment,” said Zwane. Ward 15 Councillor Fikanoyise Ndawonde also commended ZAC’s efforts. “This is a very important school for us and it is heartening to see it getting the support it needs,” Ndawonde remarked.

ZAC Mine Manager Sipho Valoi pointed out that Elomo is a strategic school because it is easily accessible for local children, ensuring that they do not have to travel long distances to attend lessons. “As a caring colliery, the plight of staff and learners at Elomo touched our hearts. We believe these toilets will improve the schooling experience for the learners and ensure that they can enjoy the right to basic sanitation,” Valoi said. Contractors involved in the project included local company Isihlahla Esimnyama and eight jobs were created for community members during construction. Building materials were also sourced locally. “We see this as a collaborative effort between ourselves and the community who have cooperated with us every step of the way in making this project a reality,” Valoi concluded.


Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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