Kakamega school closed due to lack of toilets

St Paul Namunyiri Primary School, located in the Sinoko Ward, Likuyani Sub-County, Kakamega County. [Benard Lusigi, Standard]

A school in Likuyani, Kakamega County has been closed indefinitely over dilapidated toilets and classrooms.

The move follows a joint decision by the school management and parents who feared for the safety of learners and teachers.

Public health officials had condemned at least 10 latrines and several classrooms in the school.

Roselyn Makokha, the school head teacher at St Paul Namunyiri Primary School told journalists that all 1, 000 pupils including ECDE learners were sent home due to safety concerns in the school.

“The safety of our pupils and staff is paramount and it has become increasingly clear that the current state of our facilities poses unacceptable risks,” said Makokha.

She appealed to the County Government to intervene swiftly and provide urgent assistance to rectify the situation.

Ms Makokha said that her efforts to plead with the public health officials to avoid closing the school proved futile because the latrines were posing serious environmental hazards.

This predisposes the pupils and teachers to communicable diseases like cholera because apart from the latrines, the classrooms are also dilapidated according to the head teacher.

“The public health officials have done their assessment and discovered that the latrines pose serious hazards to everybody in this school. They have closed the school until better latrines and classrooms are constructed,” said Makokha.

She said that despite the area Member of Parliament, Innocent Mugabe resolving to help the school construct the latrines, the school still needs more help to ensure learning goes on smoothly and uninterrupted.

“We require a total of 10 toilets and some for the ECDE section. I appeal to well-wishers to help our school come back on its feet. I also thank our MP for his efforts of digging four toilets although we are short of six more toilets and we are appealing for more donors to come in and help and ensure learning resumes,” she said.

Reports indicate that deteriorating infrastructure, including collapsed toilets and rundown classrooms, posed risks to the safety and welfare of students and staff alike.

“We want to urge the county government of Kakamega to come in and help in building latrines, especially for ECDEs centres which are also badly affected," said the teacher.

Parents, led by Timothy Anyanga said the alarming state of the toilets constructed about three years ago using the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) and the closure of the school calls for urgent intervention to address the dire state of the school’s facilities, which have been neglected for long.

“It is disheartening to see facilities meant to improve the learning environment now endangering the lives of our children. The head teacher has been here for a year and she has done her best. We appeal for help so that our children can go back to school,” he said.

“It is so worrying to see the pit latrines that were built three years ago are in a bad state and this shows how we engage in shoddy work and our contractors must be put on notice to ensure they do work to required standards,” said Anyanga.