13 February 2019

Namibia: Over 200 Schools Have No Toilets

About 246 schools in Namibia do not have toilets for pupils, while 1 602 schools have the facilities. Kavango East and West are the hardest-hit, followed by the Oshikoto region.

According to the education management information system report for 2017, in Kavango West, 70 schools have no toilets, while only 106 have such facilities. In Kavango East, 63 schools have no toilets, and 101 have the facilities.

Nationally, 63,2% of schools have flush toilets. The report states that there has, nonetheless, been a remarkable improvement in the provision of sanitary facilities to schools countrywide.

However, concerns remain as the Kavango East and Kavango West regions are still poorly serviced, with 61,6% and 60,2% of schools, respectively, having toilets for pupils. These are also the only regions where such facilities are at less than 65% of schools.

There has likewise been an increase in water supply to schools in general. Kavango East and Kavango West are the most poorly serviced as far as water supply is concerned, with 67,1% and 73,3%, respectively.

Meanwhile, AB InBev Namibia's Northern Trust representative Nico Kaiyamo on Friday said providing toilets at public schools cannot 'solely' be the responsibility of the government and that parents, and even non-governmental organisations, also have a role to play.

He said this during a handover of ablution facilities at the Eheke Primary School by AB InBev that were constructed at a cost of N$580 000.

Kaiyamo said as a nation, Namibia's development progress will be measured against how the country develops its human resources. This, he said, will only be possible by investing in educating the Namibian child.

"I am a firm believer that education must be a shared responsibility, and not left to the government alone. It is the responsibility of the government to create a conducive environment for businesses to operate in and prosper.

"In prospering and reaping good returns on investments, never forget or turn your back on the community you are operating in, or the client supporting you," Kaiyamo stressed.

Johannes Johannes, a Grade 7 pupil at the Eheke Primary School, expressed joy during the handover of the ablution facilities, saying they are pleased to now be using proper flush toilets.

The school has been without proper ablution facilities for both pupils and staff members.

"The pit latrines smelled, and they got filled up with water whenever it rained, and one was thus unable to use them," Johannes explained.

Oshana education director Hileni Amukana said toilets at some schools were constructed years ago and need major renovations, especially in older secondary schools.

"The roots of trees in some schools constructed about 20 years ago are getting entangled with the sewer system," she added.

Amukana said the region received just over N$12 million in the 2017/18 budget for the construction and renovation of basic education facilities, but this money was not enough.

"We built 16 classrooms and renovated 24 others at various schools. But we need to do more renovations, so friends of education should support government efforts," she pleaded.

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