Bulawayo villagers in Umzingwane District have selected a committee to follow up on the progress of the local Council in alleviating water woes at Bonjeni Primary school. The committee was selected during a Social Accountability meeting that was facilitated by Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD), today.
Almost all the sections from Bulawayo village were adequately represented through the selection of an all-female member committee. The community signified how the four-member committee will lobby for the issue until a resolution is made.
Over the years, pupils have had to carry their own drinking water to school. The school, which is 78 years old, has not had a proper water source since its inception in 1940 and yet, each and every year, more pupils are enrolled at Bonjeni Primary School despite the ongoing crisis.
“Pupils are forced to spend the whole day with no water,” said Sipho Nkala, a member of Bonjeni School water committee. “In worst cases, some children bully their peers just to access drinking water.”
The unavailability of water has led to the flight of qualified teachers and also failed to attract new teachers. This has had negative bearing on Bonjeni’s pass rate. Parents also alluded to the shortage of teachers and how the living conditions have facilitated for such.
“Teachers never show an interest in working in the school due to the challenge,” said Kerina Gutusa, a member of the recently selected committee. “Most of the teachers prefer being deployed to schools that would have water sources that are located closer to their cottages.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), between 50 and 100 litres of water per person per day are needed to ensure that most basic needs are met. In this instance, the institution severely falls short on the requirements and thus raises concerns on how children survive the whole day with no water to drink or wash hands after using the toilet.
Upon inquest it was revealed that an underground rock is the cause of the water woes in the school.
Prior attempts by the council include two unsuccessful efforts to drill boreholes.
According to Hezron Ncube, a representative of the Council: “The continuous efforts made by the Councilor in dealing with the issue have been crippled by insufficient funds and unfit drilling equipment.”
Source: Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD)