Broken Sewage System Swamps School

The overpowering sewage stench at Oshakati West Primary School in Oshakati has residents, teachers and parents up in arms and demanding answers from the education ministry’s maintenance department. The terrible smell emanates from a broken underground sewer system, which has raised health concerns as the rains that have been pouring down in the area have caused the sewage to mix with the rain water, causing the waste to spread all over the school grounds.

“We don’t know what they [maintenance department] come here to do because when they come they just have a look and then leave, with the situation remaining unchanged,” said one of the teachers.

The head of the maintenance department at the Ministry of Works and Transport Simon Totwe said the problem lies with how the school was built but there are discussions to tap into the budget for a permanent solution. The situation worsens when heavy rains trip the power supply.

Another teacher confirmed that the waste has been pouring out into the school grounds and nearby streets. “As you can see there is filth and used toilet paper all over the grounds. The situation is neither healthy nor conducive for learners. As you can see we don’t have a school hall and we hold our assembly here on the grounds, while the learners especially the ones in the lower grades also have their lunch break here,” said the teacher.

“We’ve realised that the situation gets worse whenever there is a power cut. The problem also stems from the way the school was built, it is built on low ground and those who built the school were supposed to level the ground before they built the school. Now when the power goes off especially now when it is raining someone will need to go and correct the circuit breakers because if not, the pumping stops and the sewage flows back to the school causing the pipes to get clogged,” said Totwe.

“Our children are running around the school barefooted when they play , they also eat their lunch there, if one of them drops the food they pick it up to eat and that is not healthy, but there is also no one to monitor them. We fear for the health of our children as diseases like cholera can easily break out as a result of the sewage on the school grounds,” complained one of the parents.

Source : New Era