The Japanese Embassy in Uganda has handed over a Shs370 million dormitory complex to Namasagali College.
Mr Fukazawa Hidemoto, the Japanese ambassador to Uganda, explained that the construction and provision of furniture was supported by the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security projects, geared towards uplifting the lives of people at the grassroots.
“Construction of this facility was focused to provide a safe and proper environment to students. We signed for it on January 9, 2019 but it was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mr Hidemoto said on May 5 in Kamuli district.
He added that it was difficult for them to choose ten beneficiaries from over 400 applicants but Namasagali’s plight which was raised by the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, as an old student, was ‘touching’ and ‘immediate’.
The complex is expected to accommodate over 250 girls.
According to Mr Hidemoto, the buildings inherited by the school from the defunct Uganda Railways and harbours 100 years ago decayed, with weak walls and the location, deep into the fishing communities, put the female day scholars at risk of sexual-based gender violence.
In her speech delivered by Kamuli Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Robert Mutemo, Ms Kadaga rooted for the promotion and protection of the girls whom she said are endangered.
“The high drop-out rates of girls, teenage pregnancies, early marriages and negative norms inhibiting girls from pursuing and securing their future are many and giving them ‘sanctuary’ as boarding scholars secures their time, future and concentration,” she said.
Adding: “We were made here; I started from the courtroom, the (Patrick) Kanyomozis were in the school choir, while the (Robert) Kabushengas learnt leadership here; so promote lifelong survival skills and relevant systems.”
Dr Nora Naikoba Odoi, a lecturer at Kampala International University (KIU), speaking on behalf of Namasagali Old Students’ Association Alumni- appreciated the Japanese Embassy for the timely rescue and urged the school authorities and students to be vigilant of security, especially fires.
Earlier, the head teacher, Ms Proscovia Namuganza, commended the efforts of the school alumni in renovating Jinja House by burglar proofing the computer lab, providing solar power to classes, planting ten acres of beans and maize as well as working on modern toilets facility.