Stunning photos document the lack of proper sanitation in a Cape Town township.

We know we’re lucky to live in a country where we take running water and flushing toilets for granted. There are even legitimate complaints about people not understanding or caring about our sanitation professionals and what they contribute to our way of life.

People assume, if not demand, that there are always restrooms available. If there aren’t permanent flush toilets, then there better be some portables somewhere nearby!

It’s easy to forget (when it’s not World Portable Sanitation Day) that one-third of the world’s population – about 2.5 billion people ­– is not so lucky.

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Sometimes you stumble across something that drives home the fact that we are incredibly blessed to have the sanitation that we do – both fixed and portable. The photographs of Masixole Feni do just that.

Feni is a South African photographer and the latest recipient of the Ernest Cole Photographic Award, which is endorsed by the University of Cape Town. Feni’s photography project, named A Drain on our Dignity, shows the hardships facing his native town. As a resident, he has a different perspective than visiting photographers. Feni grew up in an orphanage dealing with the same conditions he now photographs.

Images like these are such a good reminder to appreciate what we have. You may not always get the recognition you deserve from customers, but you are part of an industry that takes pride in what it does.

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Click here to read more about Masixole Feni and see some of his amazing photos.

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