At least 12 government aided primary schools in Lyantonde district are operating without toilet facilities, classrooms and teachers staff quarters after government failed to release money to have them constructed.
At least 12 government aided primary schools in Lyantonde district are operating without toilet facilities, classrooms and teachers staff quarters after government failed to release one billion shillings to have them constructed.
In the last quarter of 2012/2013 financial year, the Ministry of Finance failed to release up to one billion shillings for Lyantonde district to facilitate implementation of key projects. Information obtained from Lyantonde District headquarters indicates that the Ministry released less than 200 million shillings seriously affecting the district budget program.
As a result the district has failed to kick start the construction of several school projects and a mortuary at Lyantonde Hospital.
Tom Balojja, the Lyantonde District Education officer says at least 12 UPE schools are now operating without toilet facilities, classroom blocks and teachers’ houses.
Some of the schools without toilet facilities are Kyensama primary school, Lugala, Kanagaseta, Buyanja, Kinuuka, and Kyensoma. Others are Lwamawungu, Kiteesa, Kibisi-Busozi, Lwentondo, Nkokola and Lwamabala.
Balojja says they expected to construct toilet facilities, a classroom block and at least a teacher’s house at each of the schools, but they failed due to lack of funds. He says they considered closing them due to sanitation concerns but abandoned the idea as it would affect pupils the most. Balojja says they therefore allowed them to operate until government releases money for construction.
At Kyensoma and Kanagaseta schools, primary five and six pupils share one dilapidated classroom block with each class facing the opposite side. These schools don’t have a single toilet at the school after the old one was closed.
A teacher at Kyensoma primary school who declined to disclose his identity told Uganda Radio Network that they are operating in conditions worse than convicts at Luzira prison. He says they have nowhere to ease themselves.
Fred Mugonza, a primary four pupil at Kyensoma says whenever they want to ease themselves, they go to the nearby bush. He also claims that they study under trees because the only remaining classroom block is on the verge of collapsing.
Sharifa Kabatesi, a resident of Lyantonde town council, claims that their children are at risk of contracting diseases stemming from studying under deplorable conditions. He says lack of toilets exposes children to diseases such as cholera and dysentery since the rainy season is set to begin. He asks government to release enough money for the construction of classrooms and toilets.
Fred Muhangi, the Lyantonde District chairperson, says the failure to release one billion shillings means the district will not implement at least 60% of its budget. He says the district does not have an alternative source of income and it depends entirely on Government releases. He says the district has failed to construct at least 100 classrooms and over 60 toilets due to funding shortfalls.