Mchinji, Tobacco Association of Malawi (TAMA) donated a K850 000 worth motor to Chimteka Community Day Secondary School in Mchinji to ease water challenges the school was facing.
Presenting the donation at the School on Monday, TAMA OSH Project Coordinator Sam Kalimba said his organization has made the donation in order to help the student’s access portable water within the school premise.
He said TAMA has a project in which it is training farmers in risk assessment starting from their homes, to their farms and into their communities.
When we trained farmers from Simphasi Cooperative to do these risks assessments, they identified lack of running water at the schools boarding facility as a risk.
They informed us that the girls used to wake up as early as 4 am and go out into the villages to fetch water. This made the girls to spend more time fetching water rather than concentrating school activities. After consultations, we resolved to help with this new motor, Kalimba disclosed this.
Head teacher of the school, Clement Mtonga said the motor will help to pump at the school which will serve around 700 students out of which 150 of them are girls being accommodated at the school.
He said the school had problems of water reliable water supply for long time and this will ease the burden the school had since its pump developed a fault in November 2015.
He said this had raised various risks and challenges to both the girls and the school administration.
Mtonga said students especially girls spend more time fetching for water and this had a negative impact on their educational progression.
This had negative effect on their class performances because they girls would turn up late for classes. And in most cases, they would be already tired that their attention to lessons would be compromised, he said.
The head teacher said it was difficult for the administration to keep track of the girl’s movements as they were always found to be out of campus looking for water.
We always pay close attention to the girls’ movements at this campus. But having 150 girls going out, all at once at 4 am proved difficult for us to track their movements. As such, there was a risk that the girls could be indulging in bad behaviors which could result into issues like pregnancies. But with this donation, we now have running water and all these risks have been removed, Mponda narrated.
The donation has been made with funding from the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing (ECLT) Foundation under the TAMA Occupational and Safety Health (OSH) project and is expected to assist over 150 girl students.
TAMA is implementing this risk assessment project in Dowa, Ntchisi, Rumphi and Zomba.
The initial phase was done in 2015 and this second phase is expected to end later this year.
The OSH project is in direct response to the 2012 ILO National Conference on Child Labour held in Lilongwe whereby various agricultural sectors were tasked to identify actions to take in fighting child labour.
TAMA identified the provision of a decent working environment for the youth and training farmers in risk assessment in their homes, farms and communities as its focus area.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA