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Shipping container toilets offer hope for Cape Town’s poor


In South Africa, cities are changing fast but a troubling problem endures: lack of sanitation. Breadline Africa, a Cape Town-based charity that transforms shipping containers into libraries and classrooms, developed a solution: shipping container bathrooms.

Miriam Mannak reports in allAfrica that the organization installed these loos for schoolchildren in Makhaza, an informal settlement on the outskirts of Khayelitsha, a township in Cape Town.

The shipping containers use underground tanks that eliminate waste pathogens without chemicals. There’s also running water for hand washing. Breadline has installed these low-cost, durable toilets in other South African communities.

An estimated 1.4 million South African households don’t have flush toilets, forcing residents to relieve themselves outdoors, the article says. Another 3.8 million South African households use substandard toilets that are considered by health experts to be unfit for humans. The article adds that $4.2 billion would be required to improve and extend sanitation infrastructure across South Africa. 


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