Learners at Phwadzi Primary School under Group Village Head Misomali in Senior Chief Chapananga’s area were all smiles this week when Malawi Red Cross Society handed them an all inclusive modern latrine.
The learners, who in multitudes witnessed the ceremony, commended the humanitarian organization for the gesture, saying the donation was timely and would resolve rampant open-defecation practices within and around the school’s premises.
Speaking at the event on Tuesday, GVH Misomali who was also guest of honour representing Senior Chief Chapananga thanked Malawi Red Cross for the intervention.
“Let me express my gratitude for the kind gesture Malawi Red Cross has shown to us in the area. Indeed, learners here, especially girls had many problems in accessing toiletry facility which was not conducive. Most toilets here were old and dilapidated.
“The coming in of this initiative will improve our situation and restore our dignity as human beings. I should further plead with Red Cross to also seriously consider the boys’ toilet in order to provide equal opportunities to the learners,” said GVH Misomali.
While commending the good working relationship that exists among communities, school management committee as well as Red Cross, he pointed out the need for potable water at the institution.
He said it would be necessary if water was also provided to prevent learners from contracting waterborne diseases.
Head teacher for the school, Zacharia Malunga commended the organization, saying they did not expect to have such a magnificent structure. He said the structure was the first of its kind in the history of the school which has an enrolment of over 1000 girls and 1069 boys.
He also indicated the need for a similar boys’ toilet facility so that the school should attain 100 per cent Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
“I can say Phwadzi Primary School is the most populated school within Kalambo Zone and by having such a beautiful structure, we feel honoured. Thanks to all the people that took part in the process,” said Malunga, asking all the pupils to seriously take care of the latrine.
One learner, Grace Ndau aged 10 and in Standard 6 thanked Red Cross for the facility, saying open defecation was now going to be a forgotten tale at the school.
She, however, asked fellow learners to always keep the facility clean and make it user-friendly at all times.
Also speaking at the handover ceremony, Malawi Red Cross Project Officer for the district, Cecilia Banda, thanked local leaders, teachers and communities for taking part in the construction exercise.
“We have a lot of activities as Malawi Red Cross in Chikwawa and in particular, Senior Chief Chapananga’s area. We have activities on health, environment, social inclusion as well as safe wash facilities.
“We also promote girl groups where you talk or share a lot of issues affecting your lives with the help of our officers across our impact areas. Now, the handing over of the toilet today serves a purpose where we want to ensure that there is safe water as well as sanitation facilities at the same time,” she said.
She said the latrine is designed in a way that even persons with various forms of disabilities will use it,” she assured.
Malawi Red Cross pumped in K5 million for the construction of the facility. This is apart from community participation and support to the project.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :