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Sudan Tribune

Plural news and views on Sudan

South Sudan minister calls for proper waste disposal

September 8, 2010 (MELUT) – A minister from the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) called for proper disposal of waste products on Wednesday, saying that the act of urinating on the streets brings into focus the need to establish more public toilets in urban areas.

“We see on daily basis, people urinating on fences around decent public places, notably car parks, junctions, and even on roadsides. Such practices are prevalent in major towns in the Sudan at large and especially in the former three provincial capitals of Malakal, Juba and Wau,” said Awan Maper, the Minister of Environment in the GoSS.

Many people believe that the increased movement of local people to urban towns in search of jobs and better living conditions is one of the contributing factors to the public urination issue, while others insist that the lack of public toilets in the towns is the main factor.

Those who spoke to Sudan Tribune in randomly conducted interviews unanimously condemned the practice of urinating on the streets and appealed to the relevant authorities to build public toilets in order to curb what they called the “ugly act.”

Albino Kuel Deng, a resident of Juba told Sudan Tribune spoke of the absence of laws to regulate waste disposal in the city. He said Juba is rapidly growing and that it needs rules to strictly manage the disposal of waste products.

“Street urination is very rampant especially in Juba. One of the reasons could be attributed to the attitude of the people towards their environment, and the second issue is that the facilities [public toilets] are lacking. People need facilities because if you are advising them not to do certain things which they have never done before, you must have a solution for them,” Deng said.

“It is a natural call and for that being the case the facilities have to be there. In the developed countries they have provided such facilities so that people would be convenient to use them,” he stated, while calling on the residents and authorities to find suitable places for such facilities.

Quizzed on what impact that public urination has on the environment and the health implications, an official replied that urine contains parasitic organisms, and it produces an offensive smell.

in an interview with Sudan Tribune from Khartoum, Manyok Atem, a public health student at Bahr el Ghazal University explained that the region needs what he termed as an ‘Anti-Littering Law’ to be enforced so that anyone caught urinating on the street is taken to court.

Pascal Bandidi, a member of Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly and parliamentary chair of Natural Resources and Environment commenting on the issue said ,”as you rightly stated it is a concern, but people must change their attitude. We need to put in place some facilities. As of now there is no fund for that but it is in our plans to do that. And when we erect these public toilets like in other countries, I think the practice would be minimized.”

Shaykh Abdullah Deng Baak, giving a religious perspective in Juba, said Islam is one of the religions that condemn indecency, in particular urinating on the street, which is against its principles and teachings.

Baak, a senior member of the Supreme Council of Muslims in Southern Sudan condemned the act and described it as a “bad practice” that should be avoided by all, especially true Muslims.

He condemned the manner in which some people allow ‘waste water’ from their houses to flow into the streets, and urged them to be aware of the sin attached to it. He described the act as contrary to the principles of the Sharia, and called on people to strengthen their belief in the religion. In his view, it is not only the offensive smell that disturbs people, but also the dry dust that comes from the ground urinated on, which is inhaled by passersby. He noted that this causes a lot of health problems.