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Amid timber production, Luwawa school has no desk

Deep into Chikangawa forest is Luwawa Primary School which is at the centre of where timber is produced and exported to various parts of the country and beyond.

But the school has no single desk forcing some pupils and teachers to shun it.

Many parents including village headman Luwawa and even some teachers also said they hated sending their children to the school whose windows are broken.

Luwawa said it was regrettable that timber produced from Luwawa section of the Chikangawa forest is used to make desks elsewhere while the school at the source of that timber has had no desk for the past 10 or so.

“This school runs from standard one to eight and has no single desk. It has broken glasses as you can see and in dry season we are tortured by bush fires.

“I have tried on several occasions to call for meetings with forestry officers and those that saw timber in the forest and other leaders to discuss the need to have desks at the school but the meetings are shunned. Most of the people say this is not their home and so cannot bother about development,” said Luwawa in an exclusive interview.

Luwawa accused those extracting timber from his area of just enriching themselves as they deplete the forest without paying back to the community.

One of the teachers at the school, Billy Chimbereko, said some pupils from the area prefer going to a distant school at Chikangawa where he put his son.

Teachers also refuse transfer to the school, he said.

“I too do not like being here. As a teacher I cannot even allow my children to be here.

“We just need some planks to make desks for the pupils but that seems too difficult to happen in this area,” said Chimbereko.

Mzimba District Education Manager Lemani Mvula said he was aware of the desk challenge at the school and hoped that Raiply Malawi would one day donate desks to the school as it has done before with other schools in the forest.

Mvula admitted that it was regrettable that while timber was exported from the area, the school in the middle of plenty should cry for desks.

Raiply Malawi Chief Executive Officer Thomas Oomen just said the school would probably benefit from its corporate social responsibility.

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