Sanitation and Hygiene project which is being carried out by Participatory Development Initiative (PDI) in Machinga district has made a tremendous transformation of some primary schools in the district through construction of sustainable and accommodative toilet facilities.
PDI is a local NGO whose main target is to provide safe, clean and affordable water to local communities, and also to provide sanitation awareness to the same. The NGO works in several villages in Machinga district and is extending its tentacles to local institutions like schools. One of the primary schools that has benefited from this initiative is Nathendo Primary School. At this school, PDI has constructed toilets that are friendly to all, including the physically challenged.
Speaking on the significance of the new toilet facilities, the Headmaster of Nathendo Primary School was quick to mention that the toiles are a remarkable development the school has ever seen.
“These new toilets that PDI has brought us are a remarkable development. At first we had poor toilets that were not that friendly to the pupils, there was no mechanism to ensure that the feaces were taken care of, and there was no privacy for girls to take care of themselves during their menstrual periods. These new toilets are equipped with facilities for the menstruating girls, so that they (girls) do not fail to come to school because they are in their messes. Again, these new toilets as you can see have carefully-built entrances for those who are physically challenged. This shows on the part of PDI that it considers the rights of all. The most striking feature about these facilities is that behind these toilets there are special places built for recycling the faeces so that they can be used as manure. This means that the toilets can be used for a very long time since the contents will be removed now and then”
PDI’s Executive Director, James Longwe, emphasized the need of proper hygiene and sanitation in school premises. In his remark, he made it a point that his organization is doing this to promote the health of the pupils so that they do not miss classes due to hygiene related diseases.
“Lack of hygiene in primary schools is dangerous to the pupils, and that is why we are trying as hard with the little resources that we have to provide safe toilet facilities for primary schools. By doing this we feel that we are contributing to the effective education of our children”
James Longwe: “Proper hygene is very important for pupils”
The NGO is planning to extend its projects to other schools.