About 1,500 pupils of Lumakanda Township primary school in Lugari Sub County will be forced to miss classes for an unknown period of time after public health officials closed the school indefinitely due to poor toilets.
According to the Sub County Health Promotion Officer in charge of schools health Mrs. Sheila Kiptun, her office took the decision following the poor sanitary condition of the school.
She disclosed that Lumakanda Township primary school was served by a closure notice in April after eight toilets used by girls sunk due to heavy rains pounding the area.
However, she said it is unfortunate that as the school management was working on putting up new toilet they also collapsed immediately after being dug before construction work could begin.
The public health officer said on Monday 14th May, 2018 she visited the school and established that four more latrines had cracks thus posing a great danger to the users.
“On Monday I led my team to the school to ascertain the situation of the school in terms of sanitary facilities and we found that the school had inadequate sanitary facilities in the girls’ section where they only have four latrines to serve the population of 753,” said
She said the school which has a total pupil population of 1,453 had inadequate facilities to effectively serve such a population with girls mostly affected.
“The school has 753 girls and 700 boys and yet there are only ten toilets for boys and four for girls which aren’t enough and worst of all the pupils have started defecating away from the latrines,” said Kiptun adding this has consequently put the health of pupils and teachers as well as other workers at school in a precarious position as they are likely to get infected with contagious diseases.
Mrs. Kiptun said according to the public health requirement, the school has to put up 40 new latrines before it is allowed to reopen. “With such a population we need at least 56 toilets and therefore we need 40 new toilets; 22 for girls and 18 for boys failure to meet that requirement and the school will remain closed,” said Kiptun.
Speaking to West Media the school deputy headteacher Mr. Wycliffe Onjote regretted the move which he said will greatly affect the learners mostly the standard eight candidates.
He said the school was in dire need and requires a quick remedy to ensure pupils return and continue with the learning.
“The health situation here was indeed worse and the move taken by the public health officers was deserved but we are just sending a passionate appeal to our leaders both from County and national governments as well as well-wishers to step in and give a hand so that
learn activities can resume as normal,” said Mr. Onjode.
With the state of the soil at the school, the Lumakanda Township primary school deputy headteacher said a septic tank would help. “As you can see we had made efforts to dig some latrines here but they collapsed after reaching 18ft before we could start construction work and it fortunate no one was injured so I think septic tanks will really help,” said Mr. Onjote.