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Delivery of environmental health services to Ducats informal settlement
Sompani, Thozamile Matthews
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This study provides information on the provision of environmental health services to informal housing settlements by local authorities. A standard for Environmental Health Service delivery according to Government policies and legislation has been provided. Actual environmental health services delivered to Ducats informal settlement at the time (1992), have been compared to the services that should have been delivered by law. Baseline data have been compiled by means of questionnaires, in order to assist the different levels of government in addressing the housing and environmental health needs of the Ducat community. The nature of Environmental Health and the history of informal housing, more specific that of the Ducat informal housing settlement, have been determined. Limited environmental health services were rendered to informal housing settlements occupying land illegally during 1992. These environmental health services were limited to basic sanitation, water supply and refuse removal. Only pit latrines or bucket latrines were required as a means of sanitation, tanks for water supply and skips for the disposal of waste. Amatola Regional Services Council however rendered all the environmental health services required. Other environmental health aspects such as pest control, communicable disease control, air pollution control, radiation, occupational health issues, temperature extremes, lighting, ventilation, noise, social environment, food and meat hygiene were not required. This study has provided a set of Government policies and legislation, which should be considered in rendering environmental health services for housing in future. Uncertainty of the past decade, about rendering of Environmental Health services to people occupying land illegally, still persists. The Municipal Structures Act, 117 of 1998 requires the rendering of Environmental Health services by local authorities, but it does not state whether these services should be rendered to people occupying land illegally as well. Since this has been the biggest restriction in providing environmental health services in the past, it is recommended that Government address this uncertainty.