A Zimbabwe family of 7 members on Tuesday 10 November 2020 survived the wrath of a violent storm that tore through Gwanda ward 1 (Matabeleland South Province) destroying over 62 homes and 5 schools, by hiding in a toilet.
As we commemorate the 2020 World Toilet Day on 19 November 2020 under the theme “sustainable sanitation and climate change” we at Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) encourages communities, governments and societies to take time to reflect on the importance of tpoilets especially during the climate crisis period we are in.
The Absalom Sibanda family in Gwanda district’s Matsholomotshe area had their family house destroyed during the violent storm. Mr Sibanda narrated to MIHR how they ran to hide in the toilet. “The house began to fall and I tried to balance the bricks to no avail. Fearing that my family will be more vulnerable, I took my wife and 5 children and we ran to hide inside the toilet. We hid there for about 40 minutes until the storm ended. After the storm, realizing that our house had fallen, our neighbors came running scared that we were dead, but found us safe in the toilet” explained Mr Sibanda.
In choosing this 2020 World Toilet Day theme, the United Nations recognizes that “everyone must have sustainable sanitation that can withstand climate change and keep communities healthy and functioning”.
Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights has observed that after the destruction that happened in Gwanda ward 1 where houses, school classroom blocks, shops and trees were destroyed by the storm, surprisingly, not even one toilet was destroyed.