Lack of proper sanitation facilities and absence of exchange rooms in primary schools are some of the obstacles that hinder girls from proceeding with their education.
The situation prompted Malawi Red Cross to construct a modern toilet with sanitary facilities to the tune of K5.5 million at Kalanga Primary School in GVH Kalanga, Sub TA Govati in Mwanza District.
Speaking during the handover ceremony on Thursday, District Project Officer for Malawi Red Cross, Charles Nyirenda, said one of the core duties for his organization was to address challenges faced by the girl child in schools, hence construction of the toilet.
“Proper toilet which also provides privacy is prerequisite for a girl to continue with her education, hence the decision to construct this toilet here,” said Nyirenda.
According to Nyirenda, a joint survey conducted in the area by officials from his organisation and education department revealed that Kalanga School had the highest enrolment of girls but with inadequate toilets.
Representative for the District Commissioner (DC) for Mwanza, William Kulapani, hailed Red Cross for the gesture which he said would promote education, especially for girls in the district.
“I commend Red Cross for the donation which will also motivate girls to remain in school apart from addressing sanitation challenges they used to face,” said Kulapani.
Kulapani also commended the strong partnership between Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the DCs office, which he said was vital for the district’s development.
“The cooperation between the NGOs and the council is very crucial because it is these organizations that assist government to complement its development programmes in the district,” said Kulapani.
A head girl at the school, Zawo Mangwaya, expressed her excitement towards the toilet by explaining how the new toilet, which has a change room, will address challenges girls used to face at her school.
“In the absence of a change room at our school, we used to absent ourselves from school until menstruation was over.
“The old toilet also could not provide us with privacy. As such, some girls could drop out of school,” Mangwaya said.
Sub TA Govati who was also present at the function, commended communities surrounding the school for the role they played during construction of the toilet.
He said communities dug the latrine, mobilized river sand, stones and bricks among other materials, for construction of the toilet while Red Cross did the rest.
The modern toilet which consists of a change room has five toilet compartments with additional one which has disability friendly facilities and a hand washing facility.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :