Disgruntled Parents Express Concern Over Sanitation Facilities at Chisamba Primary School in Lilongwe
Parents at Chisamba primary school in Lilongwe, Malawi, express concern over poor sanitation, lack of facilities for pupils, writes Brenard Mwanza.
Malawi-Disgruntled parents of pupils at Chisamba primary school in the capital city of Lilongwe, Malawi, have expressed dismay at the lack of authorities’ care for pupils at the school with regard to sanitation, writes Brenard Mwanza.
Symon Msiska, the School Management Committee treasurer, revealed that they have been asking stakeholders for support for some time, but no action is being taken to remedy the situation.
A visit to the school, located at Kawale in the city, observed that sanitation facilities such as toilets and urinals are in a dilapidated state as over 2,000 pupils queue for only two facilities that are currently operational.
According to Msiska, the existing facilities are already at full capacity, increasing the chances of spreading cholera among pupils.
‘‘We engaged our stakeholders, such as the banks, the government, and other organizations, to support us, but to no avail,’’ Msiska said.
One of the girls, Great Ziba, did not hide her displeasure with the condition of the facilities, saying they are failing to observe their personal hygiene as they spend more time waiting to visit the facilities, which also affects their education.
She said, ‘‘Young children do not consider the right places to help themselves since the facilities are few and we are afraid that the smell that comes out can cause disease.’’
It is further reported that the School Management Committee organized a fundraising walk that was scheduled to take place on February 24 of this year to raise about MK40 million for the construction of modern facilities to cater to pupils' sanitation and the procurement of 400 desks to address the challenges of pupils who do not have access to desks.
However, the activity is said to have flopped due to other reasons reported to be linked to some politicians.
While accepting to have communicated to the District Education Manager after hearing of the said Big Walk, Member of Parliament for the area, Lilongwe City South West, Nancy Tembo, who is also Minister of Foreign Affairs, said she did not stop them from proceeding with the activity but only assured the parents that there are efforts being made to address the challenges.
‘‘I didn’t want an impression to go out there thinking that no efforts were being made by myself, yet I am trying my best. When you look at their budget, where would you get such an amount of money?”
Tembo added, "Even with our current resources, there is no way we may be able to get that money for one school.’’
A letter from the school fundraising committee addressed to different stakeholders asking for support expressed that some boys are seen hiding behind walls to relieve themselves, which is said to be posing a health risk.
Meanwhile, the legislator has assured the school that a budget for such facilities has been incorporated into this year's national budget.