Malawi: Pupils Rescued From Using A Grave Yard As Toilet

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Ali Kalichero.
July 9, 2014

While other children attain good education from nursery and primary schools that have all necessary facilities for education, there are other pupils whose zeal to attain proper education and become productive citizens get hindered by lack of proper school blocks and other facilities.

Such was a pathetic story of pupils at Kang’oma Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority Tsabango in the central region of Lilongwe district in Malawi.

The head Teacher for the school Ernest Kafulatira Maliseni explained in an interview that pupils at the school were using a nearby grave yard whenever they wanted to relieve themselves from the ‘call of nature’ a situation that escalated the spread of diarrhea diseases and early pregnancies among girl pupils.

“The number of pupils at this school declined due to the challenges this posed… we had a large percentage of girls who were dropping out of school due to pregnancies as the graveyard was also posing as a meeting place for the girls and men” said Maliseni.

A water Kiosk in Ndirande Malawi. In places without access to clean water children and women walk long distances, use dirty water from ponds and rivers or they are charged large amounts of money by water sellers.
A water Kiosk in Ndirande Malawi. In places without access to clean water children and women walk long distances, use dirty water from ponds and rivers or they are charged large amounts of money by water sellers.

One pupil who identifies herself as Chimwemwe Mwase in standard seven, says in an interview that the challenge posed a great problem for girl pupils, who used to get absent from school as they were not comfortable to stay in class at a school that has no toilets and water.

“I was one of the pupils who used to make frequent absence from school…..as you know we girls, we always need privacy when answering the call of nature, I could not bear the idea of getting to the grave yard every time I need to go to the toilet” said Chimwemwe.

Through a project called Kang’oma Primary School Water and Sanitation Project, the Glabal Hope Mobilization (GLOHOMO), in January this year, started constructing six toilets and a bore hole at the school, which according to the headmaster Maliseni has served the situation.

“Education is the key to success. Every child needs to attain proper education and become one productive citizen in the future.

In achieving proper and good education for children, facilities like school blocks, toilets, and potable water are very important as they help to facilitate and motivate children to attend school,” says Caleb Sithole, GLOHOMO Executive Director.

Speaking during the handover ceremony of the toilets and a borehole, Sithole said it is sad to note that many schools in the country lack hygiene and sanitary facilities thereby contributing to the dwindling of education standards in Malawi, as many pupils and students drop out of school.

Boreholes offer the cheapest technology option for safe water supply in most rural areas of Africa
Boreholes offer the cheapest technology option for safe water supply in most rural areas of Africa

Kang’oma Primary school has a total of 2, 466 pupils and is located in the area of Traditional Authority Tsabango in Lilongwe district. This is an iceberg of many primary schools in Malawi that have no proper facilities and are in dire need of such, if education is to be uplifted in Malawi.

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