- The learners were sent home and their studies suspended after a directive from public health officers over the possible spread of cholera disease.
- The officers directed the school management to suspend learning after realizing that it lacked adequate pit latrines.
More than 400 pupils at Ogada Primary School in South Kabuoch in Ndhiwa constituency have been sent back home due to the poor hygiene conditions of the school.
The learners were sent home and their studies suspended after a directive from public health officers over the possible spread of cholera disease.
The officers directed the school management to suspend learning after realizing that it lacked adequate pit latrines.
Pupils and teachers who had reported back to school for term one after the December holidays were told to go back home until the matter is fixed.
Officials from public health declared the school unsafe.
South Kabuoch ward public health officer Tobias Okong’o served the school administration with a notice about the closure.
It indicated that the available latrines are in are filled up and there was a high likelihood of people contracting cholera.
Okong’o said there was improper disposal of faecal matter which he described as being on the slab which produced a bad odour.
“The available infrastructures are in deplorable condition. The decision has been taken as a precautionary measure and to avoid a possible outbreak of cholera,” Okong’o said.
The notice was served under provisions of the public health Act Cap 242 sections 155, 119 and the school health policy and rules.
It stated that the medical officer of health was unsatisfied with the hygiene situation at the school.
The school headteacher Andrew Opiyo said they received the letter and responded as directed.
He said the school was established in 2014 and it has been operating with temporary pit latrines.
The infrastructures were described as not safe for humans.
Opiyo said they received the letter with a warning that the dilapidated state of pit latrines is likely to cause diseases.
Early in the month, the Homa Bay government announced an outbreak of cholera after five people were diagnosed with the disease.
“We have tried to put up new latrines without success due to financial constraints. We’re appealing to well-wishers to come to our aide,” Opiyo said.
The school board of management chairman Paul Nyakwae said public health officers closed the school after a latrine used by pupils sunk.
“Most infrastructures we have in this school were built by the community. Let the government build others because these have become unsafe,” he said.
Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino was asked to intervene by allocating money from National Government Constituency Development Fund to improve the school infrastructures.
Residents led by Ogallo Akech said the state of the school infrastructure is wanting and there is a need for urgent intervention to enable pupils to resume learning.
He said continuous stay home by the pupils is a disservice and interference with their education.
“Let’s use emergency funds to build latrines for the school. Gone are the days when school infrastructures used to be mabati suits and mudwall,” Akech said.