Cleaners not always to blame for state of public toilets

While Singapore is a developed country, the state of some public toilets does not reflect this. Cleaners have an impossible task, especially with toilets in MRT stations in the Central Business District.

Many of the cleaners are elderly - and they have to bend low or stretch to reach awkward corners.

The design of the toilets makes cleaning difficult. For instance, the cubicle doors can be dust traps. They do not rise to the ceiling and dust collects at the top of the doors.

Then there are faulty or leaky flushing systems. Some have such strong pressure that the toilet bowl water spills over after a flush.

Wet floors pose a danger for users and cleaners. Have handrails installed in squat toilets. Don't install toilet bowls on a raised platform that users have to step up to use.

Some sinks have poor-quality taps that either do not work or spray water all over the place when you use them. The floor under some sinks are often wet due to leaks, requiring cleaners to reach under them to clean.

Far-too-small cubicles are difficult for cleaners to clean properly.

Soap dispensers and hand dryers are sometimes put in inconvenient places. Some soap dispensers are placed such that a cleaner would have to be really tall or use a chair to top up the soap.

Baby-diaper-changing stations are often filthy and have few amenities. I have yet to see a family-use toilet.

Considering the number of public transport commuters, there are too few toilet cubicles.

And some toilets, especially at interchange stations, are in remote locations. You have to exit the station to visit one.

If the toilets are poorly designed, we should not expect cleaners to be able to clean them properly.

Lim Wan Keng