You may have heard that you shouldn’t flush toilet paper in the toilet, but you may be confused about why. After all, it’s just a big old bowl with water and some sort of magical flushing device on top. It can handle TP, right?
If you’re thinking about going to visit Congo and Kinshasa and wondering if you can flush toilet paper in the restrooms there or not, then this article is for you. Keep reading to find out!
What Is the Big Deal with Flushing Toilet Paper?
Toilet paper is generally made of either paper or a combination of paper and cardboard. Toilet paper is specifically designed to wipe away solid waste and clean your delicate areas. Toilet paper dissolves in water and can often be flushed.
This requires an advanced system of drains and wastewater processing facilities though. These wastewater processing facilities make sure that the dirty water doesn’t get into the local rivers as this can cause a lot of problems.
If these facilities have to process toilet paper as well, they have to be more advanced and this requires a big investment.
Not every country or city has this system. This might be because the country is quite large or because they decided to invest the funds somewhere else.
This is why you might see a warning sign above toilets in Congo and Kinshasa you are not allowed to flush toilet paper.
You should dispose of the toilet paper in a bin. This bin is regularly cleaned. The dirty toilet paper is thrown away with the trash. It can take some getting used to at first but it is important that you do this as it can cause a lot of problems if you don’t.
In some areas of the world, the width of the drains is not big enough and toilet paper would clog them. Wastewater would back up and make the toilet overflow. This can result in wastewater all over the house.
It is also possible that their septic system can’t handle toilet paper.
Next to bad smells, it also results in a dirty house. When those pieces of toilet paper break down, they create a very thick, sludgy substance that winds up jamming your household pipes and the local sewage systems. When these materials enter the sewer system, they cause major problems.
In some instances, it can be removed by flushing a lot but this is not always the case. A plumber will have to come out to clear the drains with a water jetter or an auger.
This costs quite a lot of money. If there is a big clog, it might be needed to dig up the drain and open it up. This is a lot of work and can result in a big expense. This is why restaurants and hotels in Congo and Kinshasa warn you that it isn’t allowed to flush toilet paper. You might get in trouble if they catch you doing it anyway.
Can You Flush Toilet Paper in Congo and Kinshasa?
The short answer is “no”. Flushing toilet paper is actually not allowed in pretty much every public restroom in Congo and Kinshasa.
You should dispose of the toilet paper in a bucket this is standing next to the toilet. In some hotels, you can flush the toilet paper but always ask before doing this!
So, when you go to the restroom in a public place and see signs that say “no flushing toilet paper” or “no TP flush”, you should listen and don’t do it.
You might think that “no flush” just means that you can’t flush toilet paper, but you can’t flush anything down the toilet. That includes items such as sanitary napkins, wet wipes, paper towels, and so on. These items can’t be flushed in any country though as they don’t break down and can cause clogs.
Plumbers often get called out to remove clogs that have been caused by wet wipes. It can be indicated on the packaging that you can flush them but most plumbers advise against it. They dissolve too slowly and cause a lot of problems. Especially if you have a septic system, you should be careful with this.
Do they use Toilet Paper in Congo and Kinshasa?
Yes, they use toilet paper in Congo and Kinshasa. You should find it in every toilet stall. You can ask for more if it has run out.
It is the same quality that you are used to at home so you will have a similar experience. Just throw the used toilet paper in the bin instead of the toilet bowl.
Congo is a unique place. It is an enormous country that has a lot of animals. You will need a car to move around as it is too big to move by bike.
If you want to travel to different cities, you might even need a local flight.
The local culture is also great to visit. People have unique songs and dances. You can also try the local foods such as Pondu, Fufu and Ndakala.
If you have to go to the toilet after trying these, you have to keep in mind that you can’t flush the toilet paper. You will have to throw it in a bin. This can take some getting used to as this might be something new for you.
From Congo, it is quite easy to travel to other countries in Africa as it is centrally located.
When it comes to public restrooms, you should always follow the rules that are posted. In the restrooms in Congo and Kinshasa, you shouldn’t flush toilet paper.
Enjoy your trip to this magnificent country!