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Bathroom time in Maonde

Posted by rebuildsakubva on January 24, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Bathroom No 4Bhavha Number 4.

As was popularly known all bathrooms cum toilets were called bhavha which is derived from bathroom.Each bhavha was numbererd and expected to cater for over 20 families.It has two divisions for men and women but women sometimes go into the men's side to do laundry,fetch water or bath babies.Most men used these for bathing purposes only and as such women were allowed to come and do their household chores from the men's side.However this was different on the women's side.Men could not come over because the women's side was always full and noisy.This was the only time when they could meet and share gossip.Laundry time was the best because you could have 4 people doing their laundry at the same time.This was however often disturbed by people who wanted to fetch water.However relations were always amicable because precedence was always given.The bathroom side of things also allowed more than 5 women to take their bath at the same time with a lot of tolerance in between.They shared the three showers that were in the bathrooms.The other part of the bathroom is the toiet.There is the men's side and the women's side too.These sides are not shared at all costs.Men stay on their side while women also use their side.Inside each room are four cubicles with one hole each.One has to squart to do their job.There was a tap inside for one to wash their hands afterwards.

The situation now is different.All the taps have been stolen,vandalised and neglected.All the toilets do not flash anymore and as such people now use the bucket system to make sure that their waste goes.However this is not common practice.Some believe that as long as their watse is in the toilet its in the right place and thats where it should stay so they do not bother washing it away with a busket of water.There is absolutely no concern for the next user.The doors which used to provide the much needed privavcy are no more and as such one can actually do their job facing the other person and engaging in a conversation.Oops.

However before all this vandalism the bathrooms not only provided oblution facilities but were also a meeting point.This is where we used to play and exercise.Jumping from each wall and climbing back again gave us the much needed exercise.The toilets gave us immunity to human waste smells and it became the order or smell of the day.This also cemented relationships as people shared soap and towels back then.The bathrooms were also a place to get the much needed Vitamin D.We could hang around to get some sunshine and some gossip.This was also a good place for courtship and many marriages have the bathrooms as their basis.In fact many premature pregnancies were also a result of the darkness and space the bathrooms provided.Wonder how this was done because the bathroom floor were never dry.This was also a playing area for chidren as they played hide and seek,chisveru(tag) and nation or gweshe.

Now these bathrooms cater for more than 100-150 people which is a health hazards since they are no longer equiped to provide water and sanitation but a hub for diseases like Cholera.

Lets meet in the next issue of Our journey into Sakubva and back.Post your comments on this blog or share with a friend.

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