Save the Children has embarked on post-disaster interventions in communities affected by this year’s floods.
One such intervention involves emptying pit latrines in primary schools used as camps during the floods in March.
The organisation is implementing the programme at Sekeni, Namicheni, Goma and Mchenga primary schools in Chikwawa and at Zaone, St Paul’s, Namatope and Sekwele primary schools in Zomba.
Save the Children health, water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash) coordinator for Chikwawa, Hendrix Mwenelupembe, said the organisation has introduced the interventions after noticing that the toilets were filled up, thereby posing a health risk to learners.
“Apart from emptying latrines, we are also training teachers to help their pupils on personal hygiene,” he said.
Mwenelupembe said that the organisation has distributed buckets for hand-washing to improve hygiene in the two districts’ 16 primary schools and has provided sanitary pads to school girls.
Symon Kachala, head teacher of Sekeni Primary School, which hosted 275 displaced families for two months, said the pressure was too much to maintain required levels of sanitation at the institution.
“Our school has 3 865 learners against 18 toilets. Already, the toilets are not adequate. So, when the flood victims were allocated here, the situation became worse,” he said. On his part, Zaone Primary School head teacher Dickson Mtalika said the March floods had affected 12 villages within the school’s catchment area, which led about 140 families to seek refuge at the school.