Lumka Mkhethwa and Michael Komape are names we should know and probably don’t.
In 2015 Michael, aged 5, drowned in a pit latrine ‘toilet’ and in 2018 the same thing happened to Lumka.
Those are absolute tragedies and should never have been allowed to happen to any human beings and the idea that we get outraged for a moment and then get back to our lives and just carry on feels a little overwhelming today. They are not the only lives that have been lost in this way.
According to this article from News 24, two years ago, there were still 3898 schools with pit latrines, while according to this site quoting 2018 stats, it would take around 19 years to eradicate the remaining pit latrine toilets at the current rate.
i won’t lie… it feels pretty useless sitting writing a blog post about this. But this is my thinking:
If this was an issue relating to white people’s pets being treated badly, we would find the money overnight.
If this was about people losing access to watching Premier League football [you know, the game that happens on the other side of the world with players from the country that colonised us so destructivelycompeting against each other] a plan would be made.
If snobby coffee was at stake, the people would find a way.
i have ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT about any of those things and there are others [hello, alcohol!] and yet all we are dealing with here is children’s lives so why bother, right?
i don’t know how this happens but it feels like the kind of cause that should really just blow up and be sorted. Imagine if the #ImStaying or #MoveOneMillion folks put their time and energy towards something like this [instead of #ImStaying and #MoveOneMillion merch for example!] Or government [properly] or sport or big business, or or or…
How do we collectively raise our voices in a way that will be heard and declare: THIS IS NOT OKAY!
That’s all i have really. Am going to be thinking this out loud with some friends of mine so this is more than just an issue blog post where nothing happens but would love to hear your ideas and thoughts and how we can actively move forward on this.
This really does feel like the lowest bar of how we as a nation can come together and bring just the smallest [but also biggest!] piece of justice to thousands of children who are living at risk…