The decision by Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) to discontinue the emptying of septic tanks and pit latrines in the Self Help Housing Agency (SHHA) areas in Francistown by 31st March 2016 has annoyed Francistown Members of Parliament (MPS).
Francistown city mayor Silvia Muzila announced on Monday during a full council meeting that WUC had informed the FCC that they will be discontinuing the emptying of septic tanks and pit latrines in all SHHA areas citing underutilisation by the people. Francistown South MP Wynter Mmolotsi told Northern Extra that he fails to understand why WUC would stop the services without sourcing an alternative provider.“When this service was moved to WUC, employees who were doing the job for FCC, were also transferred to the new department which means there is no one at council to carry on the job,” he said.
He said outsourcing the service to private companies will also be very costly as most of the people living in SHHA areas are low income earners. Muzila mentioned the importance of informing the concerned households so that they are not caught off-guard. “In their correspondence, the corporation has explained that customers have the option to pay cash or make a three month instalment plan with them where connection to their sewerage line will be done after the final payment. They further appealed to FCC management, councillors and SHHA office to disseminate the message and to also encourage people to connect to the sewerage line in their areas,” Muzila said. Like Mmolotsi, MP for Francistown East Buti Billy does not understand the logic behind the suspension of the service.
He complained that currently FCC does not have the capacity to carry out the process of emptying septic tanks and pit latrines. He said that the decision will greatly compromise health as people will try to do the job themselves or hire those with little knowledge to handle sewerage waste. The MP said that government also needs to undertake a survey to find out why people are still using pit latrines in the city.