Water shortages in schools

The government is concerned about water shortages in schools across the country, according to the Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture David Coltart.

David Coltart
David Coltart

Zimbabwe’s schools opened for the third term on September 11 and the persistent water cuts are exposing children to disease.

In an interview, Coltart said the issue of water provision at government schools needed to be addressed urgently in order to create a conducive learning environment.

He said his ministry, through the Education Medium Term Plan and the Education Transition Fund Phase 2 is making efforts to make schools safe for students through the implementation of water and sanitation projects.

“It is part of our strategic objectives under the Education Medium Term Plan. In particular, we are looking at the need to make schools healthy and safe for children. Secondly, in terms of the Education Transition Fund Phase 2, we are creating a specific grant programme for schools and we want to look specifically at water and sanitation.”

The Education Medium Term Plan (2011-2015) is meant to stabilize Zimbabwe’s education sector. Coltart said his ministry was working closely with the Ministry of Water Resources and Development Management to drill boreholes and construct toilets in rural schools.

“In terms of that programme, we are looking at several thousands of schools around the country,” said Coltart.

Minister Coltart’s remarks follows an outcry from school authorities and parents that learning institutions had become a health hazard for students. Most schools in Harare, especially from southwestern areas, are facing a critical shortage of water.

A teacher at Mufakose 1 High School said the unavailability of water at the school was a huge cause for concern.

He said: “I think there is need for urgent government intervention if this issue is to be resolved. There is a huge health hazard looming at this school,” said the teacher who declined to be named.

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