Dilapidated latrines in primary schools worry Mbarara officials

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Dilapidated latrines in primary schools worry Mbarara officials
A dilpidated toilet.

Mbarara district officials have experienced concern over the state of latrines in most primary schools.

In over 10 schools, the latrines have developed huge cracks and are facing poor sanitation challenges, yet they remain in use by pupils.

“A school with over 500 learners has got only one latrine stance, putting pupil to stance ratio at about 1:500 which is way above the national planning standards of 1:40," said Alastus Tugume, the Mbarara district Assistant Health Officer.

“Akarungu primary school is among the  schools in the district that are currently faced with poor sanitation facilities including a latrine that has huge cracks and learners continue to use it.”

He expressed the dire need to have the district's sanitation status improved, citing an 80% coverage rate with hand-washing at only 60% which he says poses a challenge to the health of not only learners but also teachers and other support staff.

Tugume also highlighted the importance of meeting recommended pupil - stance ratios of 1:40 for day schools and 1:25 for boarding schools despite the current shortfall in coverage.

Speaking to Nile Post, the Mbarara district LC5 Chairman Didas Tabaro challenged the district education department to seek ministry of education and sports intervention, writing to them highlighting the issues and if need arise temporarily close the most risking schools to avoid dire consequences.

“Draft a letter and address it to the ministry of education and have action taken, closing schools can be at a later time,” Tabaaro said.

“If there is any politician that has stopped the officers from doing their work or writing even a letter, then let them mention or report other than all the time bringing it as an excuse of not carrying out inspection."

School sanitation is crucial for all school populations, including staff, support staff, and pupils or students.

With 272 primary schools, Bubare Sub County, Bukiro, and Kashare sub counties are said to be some of the most affected areas in the district with poor sanitation in schools.

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