THE Zanzibar Stone Town Development and Conservation Authority (ZSTDCA) is in the process of reviving old public toilets as well as building modern ones to restore the status and preserve the environment of the town.
Due to negligence and lack of maintenance, most public toilets were changed into shops and restaurants, leading to a city centre without public toilets which leads to endless complaints from tourists and other visitors.
STDCA director Mr Ali Said Bakari said lack of public toilets had tarnished the image of the Stone Town which is one of the leading tourists’ attraction sites.
“Lack of toilets has caused great inconvenience to residents, visitors and businessmen who do their business in the Stone Town,” Mr Bakari said adding that they have decided to restore toilets.
The director said that survey conducted revealed that the Stone Town area had eleven toilets in different locations, which, for unknown reasons, went to private individuals and turned into various businesses.
“Lack toilets also contributes to environment degradation as people pee in narrow streets, visited most by tourist and also an entrance to Zanzibar. It is high time to take action to improve sanitation,” Bakari said.
He promised to collaborate with regional administration and other respective authorities to revive the toilets and construct modern toilets in consideration of people with disabilities and children.
Mr Bakari said that they have already started the process of making major repairs to some of the existing toilets at Forodhani public garden, and another toilet allocated for reconstruction is Malindi near Ijumaa Mosque with the funding of businessman Muzamil.
Commenting on lack of toilets ordeal, some people in the Stone Town including tour operators, said that this was a long-term problem.
“It is fortunate that ZSTDCA is taking action now,” Mr Ali Othman, a taxi driver said.
He said that various visitors of the Stone Town including taxi drivers, and bodaboda are disturbed by absence of toilets and instead use bottles to help themselves and throw them anywhere regardless of the negative impact.
“Some people urinate beside walls of buildings and leave the streets with bad smell that disgusts residents and passers-by,” said Ms Zainab Mtima, a tourist driver adding that the problem cause a lot of inconvenience to the people.