Namibia: Education projects progressing well … Over 470 sanitation facilities completed

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The education ministry said significant progress has been made in implementing the Covid-19 plan for the construction and renovation of ablution, hostel accommodation and water supply facilities.

Currently, a total of 478 sanitation facilities (235 constructed and 243 renovated) have been completed in all regions. However, 78 are still ongoing.

Education Ministry executive director Sanet Steenkamp said the ministry has been allocated N $ 800 million for Covid-19 infrastructure for fiscal year 2020/21.

The allocation of these funds was intended to facilitate the standardization of teaching and learning across the country through regular face-to-face learning, in compliance with all Covid-19 health protocols.

The construction and renovation of sanitation facilities, hostel accommodation, cooking facilities and drinking water supply in schools have been identified for implementation in all regions.

“Adequate health and sanitation facilities need to be strengthened to ensure a safe learning environment for all teachers, learners and institutional workers. The aim of this intervention is to provide sanitation facilities in schools where there are none, and to renovate those which are in a dilapidated state. A total of 251 sanitary facilities have been identified for renovations and 305 to be built across the country, ”noted Steenkamp.

However, not all schools were covered due to financial constraints, but she stressed that the ministry is working to ensure that projects are fully implemented in these schools in order to benefit the Namibian child.

All sanitation projects undertaken by the Namibia Training Authority (NTA) have been completed.

The goal of establishing and building shelters that provide living spaces for learners while they engage in learning is due to the fact that many learners in all regions face a need urgent housing.

This has resulted in an increasing number of learners squatting in unsafe and unsanitary facilities around school premises due to the long distances they have to travel daily to get to school.

“Under these conditions, learners are at high risk of disease, sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancy and drug addiction because parental supervision is non-existent. The construction of new homes aims to alleviate the lot of these learners, ”she explained.

World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) guidelines on infection prevention in schools identify a series of measures that must be put in place for schools to reopen and operate safely.

They include regular hand washing with soap and water, daily disinfection, and basic drinking water.

With the Covid-19 epidemic, the ministry has accelerated the supply of water to schools in all regions in order to adhere to health protocols, and also to ensure that there is minimal infection in schools in maintaining personal hygiene through regular hand washing.

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