Officer: Respect projects


THE European Union (EU) and United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (Unicef)-supported water, sanitation and hygiene (Wash) project provided at schools are done in consultation with the Department of Education minimum standard board, says Care International Wash programme manager Patrick Goimba.
Goimba said the facilities provided were enough to serve the number of students at the school and there should not be any complaints about water shortage.
Most schools, he said, did not have access to piped water and depend on rainwater to meet the drinking and hygiene needs of students and the help given by EU-Unicef should be appreciated and used properly.
He was speaking to parents, teachers and students at Kelua Primary and elementary schools in Hagen Central, Western Highlands, last Thursday during the opening of the Wash project and presentation of open defecation free certificates to 11 communities.
He was responding to several requests raised by schools that were under the Wash programme in need of tanks, gutters and other plumbing equipment.
“A student uses 5 litres of water per day,” he said.
“For example, Kelua Primary has about 600 students and there are three tanks that hold 9,000 litres and another two that hold 5,000 litres of water and the total volume of water is 37,000 litres.
“In a day, the 600 students will be using 3,000 litres of water and if there is a dry spell, they will be able to use the water for 12 days and the tanks will be empty.”
Goimba said school board of management and parents should understand that the facilities funded were for the students.
He said the reason why taps were running dry was because communities were not respecting the students and were using the facilities.
Mt Hagen city authority chief executive officer Leo Noki said the reason why schools charged project fees was to improve such facilities at schools.
He said parents in the Highlands spent so much money on compensation, moka (exchange ceremony), funeral service and other community-oriented activities and liked to complain about project fees.
“Children are our future, think about the money you (parents) spend on unnecessary things that will not benefit you in the future,” he said.
“If it means to dip into our pockets to pay the fees, we should do it for the good of our children.
“One day, we will look up to our children and they will clothe, feed and help with our needs and other community activities.”