Both Teachers and their pupils at Chisengamang’a Basic School in Kapiri Mposhi District are using the nearby bushes to answer their call of nature because of lack of toilets at the education facility.
This came to light during a UNICEF/DFID funded School Led Total Sanitation (SLTS) project sensitization meeting at the school yesterday.
The School with a total population of 657 pupils and 20 teachers has no toilets forcing both teachers and pupils to make-use-of the nearby bushes whenever they want to answer the call of nature.
Chisengamang’a Basic School Deputy Head teacher, Judge Mtonga says that the only two pit latrines at the institution were destroyed early this year by heavy rains.
He said that since then there have been no toilets built for the pupils and teachers
Mr. Mtonga said there are increased cases of diarrheal diseases amongst pupils due to lack of toilets making pupils miss classes.
And Kapiri Mposhi District Educations Standards Officer, Sunday Mwape has challenged school managements and Parent Teachers Association (PTA) in the district to be proactive to ensure that they provide toilets and other sanitation facilities at school premises.
Mr. Mwape urged the school managements through the PTA should not always wait for assistance from the District Education Board Secretary to provide for them but use local initiative to solve some problems that are faced at the institutions.
He said hygien and a clean environment were crucial factors to provision of quality education.
Mr. Mwape noted that poor hygiene at schools exposes children to diseases such as cholera and diarrhea which leads to poor performance amongst pupils in class
He also noted that disease also lessens the pupil teacher contact because most sick children miss classes due to illness
“Teachers and parents should work together and endeavor to promote hygiene because education is centered on good health of children,” Mr. Mwape said.
Meanwhile, a traditional leader has directed villagers around Chisengamanga basic school to ensure that they cooperate with the school administration to put up pit latrines and safe water points at the institution.
Mpatisha Village Headwoman, Maggie Ndaisakamana passed the decree during the meeting and ordered that any subject who will not heed the directive will be removed from the village.
Headwoman Ndaisakamana also ordered her subjects to ensure that their households had secure drinking water points and pit latrines in order to curtail open defecation which results in the outbreak of diseases in her village.
And SLTS Project Officer, Mwenya Jackson said the project which is being piloted in some selected schools in Kapiri Mposhi is aimed at triggering the construction of pit latrines and digging of safe drinking water points at school through the use of low cost technology and locally sourced materials.
“ We are basically discouraging open defecation and encouraging sustainable Water Sanitation and Health approach using children and the surrounding community to mobilize their own resources to put up pit latrines at schools,” Mr. Mwenya said.
Mr. Mwenya said the program intends to increase proper sanitation coverage sanitation in the targeted schools to avert the outbreaks of diarrheal diseases.