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School for the blind goes 10 years without water

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Officials at Montfort Demonstration School for the Blind in Chiradzulu have said the institution has been facing many hygiene and sanitation-related challenges as water at the school was disconnected about 10 years ago due to unsettled bills.

The school, which is home to 47 visually impaired students and five specialist teachers, relies on one borehole.

According to one of the specialist teachers at the institution, Phides Mbendera, the school receives K140,000 sustenance funds from the government every month, an amount he said is not enough to cover various costs.

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“As I am speaking, the toilets at the hostels are full due to this lack of a reliable supply of water, this is also placing the pupils at risk of contracting waterborne diseases,” Mbendera said.

He also said the pupil-teacher ratio at the institution and the available learning and teaching equipment are far from enough.

“There are times when, two classes share one classroom, this brings confusion as the children fail to focus on what they are being taught by their teachers.

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“In addition, we also lack enough braille or large print materials, this makes it even more difficult for our pupils to compete with other students during national examinations,” Mbendera said.

Meanwhile, sanitation organisation, Campaign for Health Sanitation and Hygiene (Cahesh), on Tuesday donated braille Bibles to the institution.

Cahesh Executive Director, Macdonald Kaluwa, also presented a cheque of K100, 000 to the institution.

He said the braille Bibles were meant to encourage the pupils to read apart from enhancing access to biblical information among the visually impaired pupils.

Cahesh is implementing various programmes that aim at achieving a healthy and clean environment in Malawi by 2030.

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