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Parents beat deadline to save Kenya's Kianjau Primary School from impending closure

By Lydiah Nyawira | August 17th 2015

Parents of Kianjau Primary School in Mathira constituency are in the final round of renovating the school to avoid its closure.

Grace Njoki, a parent at Kianjau Primary School, helps Frederick Githui by pulling a wheelbarrow of cement to renovate a classroom in Kianjau primary school. (PHOTOS: LYDIAH NYAWIRA/ STANDARD)

Health officials had threatened to close down the school over the poor state of the classrooms and toilets.

In August 2014, officers from the Department of Health visited the school to assess the sanitation standards after they were informed that the facilities were dilapidated.

The school's Board of Management Chairman, Isaac Nderitu, told The Standard that the toilets were indeed not adequate for the 265 students.

"The school is old and it has been in a poor state for years. The toilets had been the worst affected forcing the students to sometimes relieve themselves behind the classrooms or in the nearby bushes," Mr Nderitu explained.

New toilets

He added that parents were unable to raise the money needed to build new toilets, forcing the management to seek alternative sources of funds.

"For several months, we wrote proposals and asked the CDF office to come in and assist us but as the months passed, we got no feedback from the committee," he said.

Mathira MP Peter Weru, however, dismissed the school's claims saying the entire exercise was political.

It took the intervention of former pupils at the school to mobilise resources to put up the structures again.

"I have a business in Karatina town and I mobilised my former classmates to form an alumni association to try and fundraise for the school," said Anthony Maina, a former pupil.

He added, "We also decided to approach prominent business people."

Masons put finishing touches on newly-built toilets at Kianjau Primary school through the aid of a local businessman. Health department had threatened to close down the school if health measures were not addressed. (PHOTOS: LYDIAH NYAWIRA/ STANDARD)


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