Ssembabule School Operates Without a Pit Latrine

2856 Views Sembabule, Uganda

In short
A government primary school at Lwebitakuli Sub County in Ssembabule District is operating without sanitary facilities after their latrine caved in last term following heavy downpour.

A government primary school at Lwebitakuli Sub County in Ssembabule District is operating without sanitary facilities after their latrine caved in last term following heavy downpour.
 
Bwogero Community Primary School in Bwogero Village, which has a population of more than 200 pupils, is stuck with the problem of lack of toilet facilities after a three stance pit latrine was destroyed by heavy rains.
 
According to Hamis Byansi, the head teacher, the matter was brought to the attention of the district authorities to help the school get new pit latrines. The District Education department however said that it did not have the required money to construct another pit latrine.
 
Byansi says that pupils and teachers are now inconvenienced in case anyone needs to use a toilet. He adds as result of the toilet shortage at school some teachers are forced to travel long distances to the nearby trading centres to access latrines well as pupils go to nearby bushes which is risky.
 
Baker Ssesimba, a parent of two children and also a member on the school management board, says that they are afraid their children will soon contract diseases related to poor hygiene.
 
He says that the board had decided that parents should contribute some amount of money to help in put up at least a two stance pit latrine but the proposal hit a snag because most of the parents were opposed to it.
 
Ssesimba says that some parents threatened to take their children to other schools because they were not ready to contribute to the proposed project.
 
Mazinga Mwesigye, another school board member, says that if the school received its UPE funds in time management would have been in position to address the matter. The school has not received UPE funds in almost a year. 
 
He however, says that if the current situation at the school persists there is a possibility of cholera, dysentery, and diarrhoea outbreak when the rainy season sets in.
 
Flujensio Bukomwa, the Ssembabule District Education Officer, says that his office is aware of the problem at the school. He says their hands are tied because the funds which can be used address such issues come from the Ministry of Education.
 
Bukomwa says that he forwarded the matter to the District Executive Committee which promised that in the education department will be allocated some money to address the toilet shortage at the school.
 
A World Bank Water and Sanitation Program report released in April 2012, noted that that at least 3.5 million Ugandans do not have access to latrines which costs the country at least UGX 389 billion annually in healthcare bills.