Norcros South Africa has remained committed to the South African government’s SAFE initiative to help eliminate pit latrines at schools. “Despite the challenges presented by the COVID19 pandemic, we persevered and in 2021 built new bathroom facilities for George Masibe Secondary School in Marken, Limpopo, with another school planned for 2022” confirms Rachel Imasiku, Legal Director and Company Secretary for Norcros South Africa.
George Masibe Secondary School had no pre-existing bathrooms, only pit latrines for the approximately 240 students enrolled there, and 15 staff. Located in the Waterberg district, the rural setting of the school presented the team with some difficult challenges, including the fact that there was no running water at the school.
As part of the solution for this, the team followed a similar strategy as that which was followed at the Nokwazi Junior Secondary School in the Eastern Cape, which the company assisted in 2019. Each division within the Norcros South Africa group played their part in creating a safe bathroom space for the school. Tile Africa constructed two new bathroom buildings for which Johnson Tiles supplied the tiles, TAL provided the tile adhesives and grout, whilst House of Plumbing ensured all plumbing requirements were met.
Enviro-loo, the manufacturer of a waterless dry sanitation system was contracted to supply toilets and urinals for the school. This system has been used successfully to transform human waste into a safe, stabilised material without the use of water, electricity or chemicals, relying instead on sun and wind. This contract included a servicing agreement to maintain the installation for 2 years. The bathrooms provide facilities for the learners, the educators and a paraplegic toilet was also installed to accommodate all users of the school. “We moreover drilled a borehole for the school, to provide water for the basins so that the learners can wash their hands”, explains Imasiku. Posters encouraging good bathroom habits are also supplied to the school.
The Tile Africa team made use of local suppliers and contractors as much as possible and took time to teach tiling skills to a group of unemployed members of the community. This forms part of the company’s goals to uplift the communities in which they work and ensures that any future maintenance and repairs that the school may need for their bathrooms, can be quickly attended to. A supply of spare tiles and adhesives were left at the school for this purpose. “Taking our commitment to the schools further, it is our practice to hire a cleaner to assist with keeping the facilities clean for the first three months after the project is complete, and we provide an annual maintenance visit to each school that we have assisted” says Imasiku.
The equipment and supplies for the bathroom project were kept in a storage container on site, during the build. Once the project was complete, this container was converted into a kitchen for the school. This was fitted with running water piped into the sinks from the new borehole, so that there is a clean, safe space for preparing the school meals. “This initiative is very important to us and speaks to our company’s purpose which is creating spaces for living life your way” concludes Imasiku
The George Masibe Secondary School had no pre-existing bathrooms, only pit latrines for the approximately 240 students enrolled there.
The toilet facilities were constructed for the learners, educators and a paraplegic toilet.
Durable and low maintenance stainless steel basins for installed in the new bathrooms.
Posters encouraging good bathroom habits have been placed in the new facilities at George Masibe Secondary School.