LDF funded school block in Neno collapse before handover

What meant to be a modern school block that was allocated K12 million under Local Development Funds has completely collapsed before they start using it at Mpimbi Junior Primary School in Neno.

Parents, chiefs pointing at the collapsed school block
The fallen school block

The school block was planned to be completed by December last year and was meant to upgrade the school from standard 5 to standard 8 but following the collapse of the structure the school remain standard 1 to 4.

Learners to access standard 5 to 8 they need to walk almost 10 kilometers to and from next school which is Chawe Primary School.

The head teacher of the school Ronex Fanuel Kundembo who was also a member in the school management committee said the contractor was using sub-standard materials and the building started developing dangerous cracks before it was finished and some walls of the block started falling down   in June before heavy wind blew off the roof in August, that led to complete falling down of the school block.

Kundembo said despite that the committee was given mandate to choose the contractor from the community   the school management committee was not involved in the procurement of building materials

“There was very little cement used, poor concrete quality, poor reinforcement detailing and more irregularities in roofing but the contractor choose not to take our suggestions. He always shouted at us saying we don’t know how things work,” said Kundembo.

He said it could have been a tragedy if the incident happened during the learning period because the roof was found in the morning scattered all over the school premises.

Councilor of the area Montfort Bwanali admitted that there were a lot of loopholes during the construction of the block that led to the falling down of the structure.

He said since commencement of the project there was a poor coordination between council, school management committee and other players.

“Let me admit that we have failed this development, there was low supervision of the project and hired incompetent contractor. I am very concerned because we don’t know where we can get other funds for the needed school block, as duty bearers we have failed this development,” admitted Bwanali.

Effort to talk to the Director of Development and Planning for Neno District Henry Chitema on the matter proved futile as he is out of office for over a week now and his mobile number could not be reached, while member of parliament for the area Emmanuel Lonzo is among the delegation that has accompanied Mutharika to United Nations General Assembly in New York.  .

Group Village Head Kaingilira of the area said the falling down of the block mean children in her area will continue travelling long distance to access standard 5 to 8 in other schools.

“It’s unbelievable, the 12 Million kwacha has been spent for nothing on the project,” complained Group village head kaingilira.

Meanwhile Action Aid Malawi which is carrying out back to school campaign in partnership with Neno Women Forum said the school has registered high school dropout rate.

Action Aid Programs officer for Neno District Francis Chapasuka said out of 144 learners that were on Action  Aid sponsorship program from 2017/2018 school calendar they have only remained with 47 learners due to drop out.

Chapasuka said the only solution to curb the high drop out rate at the school is having school upgraded to standard 8 because most learners cannot afford to walk 10 kilometers distance to access standard 5 to 8.

Commenting on the fallen structure, Chapasuka said the structure did not meet minimum standard of construction.

“The structure was a death trap to learners. The Communities were not supposed to accept this kind of poor standard development. It’s a mistake waiting for officers to come and supervise a development project in your area. Community lacked the will on the progress of this project,” said Chapasuka.

He also urged the authorities to strength and empower Area development committees and Village development Committee to curb the provision of sub-standard project.

Meanwhile the village has constructed a grass-thatched shelter waiting approval from District Education Office to be used as standard five and six classrooms.

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3 years ago

Koma kuba kulipo!

3 years ago

How do you build a strong block with K12,000,000 including corruption

3 years ago

you want to kill other children as you was did in zomba . What kind of cement are you built that block do you mean the local government funding it`s not enough? you contractor why?????

Stanley Mdala
Stanley Mdala
3 years ago

This collapsed school block in Mwanza just bears witness to what we Malawians as a society have been taken for granted by these DPP politicians. The cheating and stealing of construction funds and materials like cement just symbolised the amount of uncaring and unsupervised projects most of which are of substandard class. Yet this idiot called Dausi comes from this district and he is a so called spokesman of this corrupt and inept government run by an old man who is not running this very ineffective and unsatisfactory government. These poorly constructed projects is typical Mutharika era government. Sub standards.… Read more »

Ntumbuka Weni Weni-Wapachitimba

During MCP era you wouldn’t find such structure in Malawi

3 years ago

I think the Contractor needs to be jailed. In other countries, Contractors are bonded to their work, for life or limb. If this structure had collapsed while students were in class, there would have been deaths. As a country, we can’t keep rebuilding the same school blocks every year. We need solid buildings that can withstand time. The Egyptians, Greeks even Zimbabweans did build structures that stood the test of time, without cement. Yet, we are failing to do the same with plenty of Dangote around.

Muswahili Mambo Sana
3 years ago

Contractors are all DPP supporters, what type of buildings do you expect from these thieves ?

3 years ago

This is unfortunate, but it is not the disaster it would have been if children had been in the block at the time of its collapse. This is what happens when a community does not take responsibility for a project from which they might expect to benefit., and a few greedy, selfish and socially irresponsible people decide to steal bags of cement and increase the sand to cement ratio in the mortar mix.

3 years ago

Where is NCIC in all this? This is one of the corrupt institutions not benefiting Malawians. Contractors should be certified? Was this done? Safety measures should be put in place in all cthose Barry toon sites. QA/QC report should be produced for all construction prospects. NCIC should provide post construction certificate etc. this is what we should do to safeguard the quality of all construction works in Malawi. If not we will hear the same contractor has been engaged elsewhere…

3 years ago

Will the contractors be held to account for this disgrace? They should be made to re-build the block properly at their own expense.

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