A family living in a public toilet in Morocco have spent seven years requesting more hygienic accommodation.
Their pleas fell on deaf ears, and Aze Adine Ould Baja has had to endure the ignominy of having “Sidi toilets” as the official address on his identity papers.
Desperate to do something about their plight, Mr Baja and his wife Khadija Makbout recently went to a local newspaper with their story.
“I was fed up with the situation and I was becoming more and more ill,” Mr Baja explained.
“There were lots of vermin in the toilet. My little boy is only seven months old but he is also a Moroccan citizen and deserves better.”
But a few days later the local authorities moved in to block up the toilet’s entrance with cement and concrete.
Mr Baja, his wife and three children now find themselves barred from the only home they had.
In a narrow street of the old medina in Sale, the city across the river from the capital, Rabat, Mr Baja explained how he fell into poverty and ended living in the public lavatory, where he was the attendant.
He worked at the toilet for 23 years, where he earned less than $1 a day.
“How can a married man feed his children on a dollar a day?” he asked.
When my son went to school, the other children would tease him and call him ‘the boy from the toilet’
His troubles began several years ago when his daughter was kidnapped and he had to sell everything to try to find her.
She was eventually found, but he could not afford to rent the place where he had been living and the family moved into the toilet as a temporary measure.
But with no help from the local government and no money to rent anywhere else they ended up staying.
“My children and I have suffered a lot,” Ms Makbout told the BBC.
“Rats and mice were eating and tearing our clothes and I was afraid that they would harm my baby boy. I was sleeping near the drain.
“I asked the authority for a place where my children could live but they did nothing.”
Mrs Makbout said the she hated seeing her children grow up in this situation.
“When my son went to school, the other children would tease him and call him ‘the boy from the toilet’.
For more on this story visit: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6718249.stm