Authorities must act on water shortage in schools

Authorities must act on water shortage in schools

However, according to Ilala District Primary Schools Education Officer, Ms Tatu Kikwete, over half of primary schools in the municipality have no clean water. Ms Kikwete, therefore, appealed to other well wishers and sympathizers who would be touched by the children’s plight to come forward and give a helping hand in drilling more wells.

A statement by Ilala Municipality Mayor, Jerry Silaa and the Lions Club of Dar es Salaam that the municipality was cash-strapped, thus, unable to attain its development goals, including provision of clean water to schools, adds weight to the seriousness of the problems facing it.

While the Lions Club deserves commendation for positively responding to an essential need, we find it hard to buy Ilala Municipal authority’s excuse as justification for not providing safe and clean water to its schools. The area lies in the heart of the city of Dar es Salaam which is blessed with more than one source of water.

Today, city residents drill wells rather than rely on Ruvu River or Kizinga water source in Temeke District. Some of the wells like the one drilled by Lions Clubs at Mnazi Mmoja, have plenty of water to benefit residents of the city suburb. Why can’t Ilala Municipality take this initiative and lead the way?

The bone of contention is that children learn personal and general hygiene in schools. They are taught to wash their hands with soap after using the toilet and before and after meal. They also learn that fruits often sold around their school premises should be washed first before they are eaten.

Grown up pupils have essential needs that require them to use water most of the time, and schools have cleanliness routine that cannot be achieved without water. How can all these take place in schools which do not have water?

Therefore, Ilala Municipality, and the rest of such authorities do not have a choice but to take urgent measures to ensure schools have clean water supply. That also means taking seriously previous campaigns including Water for All, Water is Life, United Nations Toilet Day and the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on water.

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Author: Editor

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