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Water board disconnects water at school for blind

Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) has disconnected water at Ekwendeni School for the Blind over an unsettled water bill of over K1.5 million.

The bill, according to teacher-in-charge, Frances Mkandawire, has accumulated for over two months.

She said issues of hygiene have been compromised at the school.

Mkandawire said they were struggling with the bill because they are underfunded, disclosing they get K450, 000 a month.

“Resources are a problem for us. The K450, 000 we get a month hardly caters for all the school’s necessities. From that amount, we are supposed to buy food, school materials, pay bills, salaries for support staff and it is not easy,” she said.

Mkandawire said they have been engaging the board for consideration in terms of paying arrangements, but there has been little progress.

NRWB Communications Manager, Edward Nyirenda, said the disconnection was the last resort for them after negotiations failed.

He said: “Our policy is to engage. We engaged the school but nothing concrete came out. The school has two accounts and we disconnected one hoping that they would come forward but they went ahead to drill a borehole which was another violation.”

Speaking in a previous interview with The Daily Times when queried on the underfunding of special needs education, Education Ministry spokesperson, Lindiwe Chide, said the government was partnering well-wishers to assist such institutions.

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