Students at Umbwi Secondary School in Dedza boycotted classes on Friday saying they have not taken a bath in four days due to scarcity of water at the education institution.
Head boy for the school, Mphungu Hassan, said the water challenge has been at the institution since the beginning of the term but worsened in the past four days, prompting them to boycott classes as a way of forcing management to swiftly act on the matter.
Hassan told Malawi News Agency (MANA) in an interview on Friday that they had stayed without taking a bath for the past four days.
He described the situation as not healthy, especially with the heatwave currently hitting most parts of the country.
“We also considered our welfare looking at the poor conditions we are living in due to lack of proper sanitation. So, we thought our sit-in could force the school authority to quickly look into the matter,” he said.
The school’s Head Girl, Leviana Misi, echoed Hassan’s sentiments, saying the water situation had greatly affected her side where more girls have been failing to attend classes, especially when they are in their menstruation period.
Umbwi Secondary School Head teacher, Bernadette Chitwere, confirmed the development, saying the problem has affected the whole institution.
She, however, said previously, Central Region Water Board (CRWB) provided them with a water bowser to provide water for kitchen use. She said another one was expected soon to provide water for the learners.
In his reaction, Zonal Manager for CRWB in Dedza, Bankum Malunga, said the problem was caused by an electrical fault at their pump station located at Dawuya along the Lilongwe-Blantyre M1 Road.
“The problem has been there since 10th October, 2023 and we are working tirelessly to rectify it as soon as possible,” he pledged.
Reported by Elizabeth Chikopa