Pupils in three Rukungiri schools share latrines with teachers

 Pupils ease themselves in pit-latrines at a school in Uganda. Most government schools have such facilities in a sorry state. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • The district education officer, Mr Jackson Turyahumura, said they had so far submitted the name of 20 schools to the Ministry of Education for assistance.

Teachers and pupils in Nyamifura, Kabura and Nyamambo primary schools in Rukungiri District share pit-latrines.

The pupils abandoned their own because they are in a dilapidated state.

Nyamifura Primary School in Nyakagyeme Sub-county, with an enrollment of 255 pupils and 14 teachers, has only two pit-latrines.

The head teacher, Ms Lovence Biriiho, said two weeks ago, a pupil almost lost their life while using one of the latrines.

“We almost lost a life because of the sorry state, so we decided to start sharing ours with learners,” Ms Biriiho said.

“Due to a lack of privacy, teachers have now resorted to using our neighbours’ facilities,” she added.
The chairperson of the school management committee, Mr Patrick Kaharata, appealed to the government for help, saying parents and the foundation body built the two pit-latrines.

“The latrine collapsed because it was built using rudimentary materials, which got rotten. The government should at least think about saving the lives of Ugandans before we have a breakout of cholera, dysentery and other diseases as a result of poor sanitation,” he said.

At Kabura Primary School also in Nyakagyeme, its three pit-latrines have cracks on the slab, the roofs leak, and the walls are on the verge of collapsing.  The school has an enrollment of 235 pupils and 10 teachers.

Ms Dinah Kakuru, a teacher, said they informed the sub-county and district authorities but are yet to get help.
She added that the situation had left the pupils at risk of contracting diseases.

At Nyamambo Primary School in Ruhinda Sub-county, the only pit-latrine for learners collapsed three weeks ago, forcing pupils to use facilities in the nearby trading centre.

“Pupils and teachers are now inconvenienced in case anyone needs to use a pit-latrine, pupils are forced to trek to the nearby trading centres and at times use teachers’ pit-latrines,” Ms Gloria Tuhirirwe, the head teacher, said.

“We notified the district about the situation, but we have not received any response,” she said.  The school has an enrollment of 245 pupils and 11 teachers.

Leaders speak out 

The chairperson of Nyakagyeme Sub-county, Mr Godson Mubangizi, said they reported the matter to the district authorities. The district chairperson, Mr Geoffrey Kyomukama, said his office was aware of the problem and is working towards solving it.

“My office has received many letters from different government schools seeking assistance in form of infrastructure, and latrine facilities, among others. We are trying to handle one [school] at a time with assistance from the central government,” he said.

The district education officer, Mr Jackson Turyahumura, said they had so far submitted the name of 20 schools to the Ministry of Education for assistance.


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