LRP Project Coordinator in Kilwa Distric, Steven Benard revealed this recently while briefing journalists and ActionAid Staff who visited the school to talk to pupils and witness what has been done to help them learn in a conducive environment.
“We have decided to construct a pit-latrine worth 8m/- because lack of access to toilets can seriously interfere with children’s education,” he said.
ActionAid Kilwa has built toilet facilities for the pupils because having the best toilets has meant the students can spend more time in class and reduce movement of pupils to their home.
So far LRP is being implemented in eight villages in Kilwa District that includes Njinjo, Lihimaliao Kusini, Lihimaliao Kaskazini, Matandu, Mandawa, Kiwawa, Singano and Nangulukulu villages.
For her part, Matandu Primary School Head teacher, Mwajuma Wakambi, added that a total of 893 pupils at Matandu Primary School are now enjoying the right to education.
The construction of latrine will helped pupils to take their lessons comfortably rather than moving from the school to their home to find toilet or in bushes as toilets are now found at school.
“We expressed thanks to ActionAid Kilwa to support us because right now attendance of pupils has improved, pupils spend more time in school for more studies and have been able to understand their rights something which was not there before,” she explained.
Wakambi insisted that the construction of latrines will enhance a healthier teaching and learning environment to both pupils and teachers because it reduced unnecessary movements to search places to help themselves and this increased morale of pupils and teachers by having a better place to stay,” she said.
A Standard VI pupil, Muzinat Mwale said she was thankful to ActionAid Kilwa for supporting them with the latrine so that they can study in a good environment.
She explained that before Action Aid Kilwa intervention, attendance in school was very poor especially for girls during the menstrual cycle while others were going into the bushes.
“We are happy now, we will always remember the Project Coordinator for taking serious measures to support us, the construction of pit latrine has reduce queues in toilet during the brake time,” she said.
She acknowledged adding that although ActionAid has built a toilet to the school, they still need donors who can help them with water wells for drinking water and toilet use.
She said they depend on dams and water harvesting during the rainy season for drinking and toilet use or sometimes they just carry gallons from home so that they can have water at school.
For his part, Standard V1 pupil, Ramadhan Kani said, apart from pit-latrine, under LRP, pupils have been able to understand their rights.
“We‘ve learnt about children’s rights – like children’s rights to participate, children’s right to get an education, children’s rights to be able to be heard, every child has the right to basic needs and child has the right to access what they need to have a good life and others,” he noted.
Highlighting on other challenges facing the school, Chairman of Matandu Njenga Suburb, Said Malenga said lack of safe drinking water is the main challenge facing the school as during the dry season, pupils suffered a lot to get water only depending on dams.