K5.5 million toilet raises questions

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Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) has built a K5.5 million toilet for a school in Mwanza and Malawians have questioned the cost of the building.

Social commentator Onjezani Kenani posted a photo of the toilet on Facebook and said: “Red Cross, sigh. They say they built this toilet at Kalanga Primary School in Mwanza for K5.5 million (US$7,500).”

Onjezani Kenani

Kenani: Raised the issue on his Facebook page.

Many commenters on the post  suggested that corruption and poor governance led to the high cost of the building.

Others backed the figure saying the organisation probably hired a contractor hence K5.5 million is within the market cost of building such a structure.

The toilet which has sanitary facilities has been built at Kalanga Primary School in Group Village Head (GVH) Kalanga, Sub-Traditional Authority (ST/A) Govati in Mwanza District.

It is aimed at keeping girls in school since some of the drop out due to sanitary issues.

According to Sub TA Govati, communities dug the latrine, mobilized river sand, stones and bricks among other materials for construction of the toilet while Red Cross did the rest.

Speaking during the handover ceremony on Thursday, MRCS district project officer Charles Nyirenda said one of the core duties for his organisation was to address challenges faced by girls in schools.

“A proper toilet which provides privacy is a prerequisite for a girl to continue with her education. This is why we decided to construct this toilet here,” he said.

According to Nyirenda, a joint survey conducted in the area by officials from his organisation and education department revealed that Kalanga School had the highest enrolment of girls but had inadequate toilets.

The school’s head girl, Zawo Mangwaya, said the new toilet, which has a change room and disability-friendly facilities, will address challenges girls used to face at her school.

 

 

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