Oxfam in Malawi, with funding from the Japanese Government, has constructed 21 sanitary facilities targeting 6 000 girls in 20 primary schools in traditional authority (T/As) Chindi and Mpherembe in Mzimba.
The project, Improvement of Sanitary Facilities for Primary School Girls in Mzimba District, aims at supporting girls’ retention and completion in schools through construction of girls toilets and change rooms in 20 selected schools.
Speaking during the handover at the weekend, Japanese Ambassador Satoshi Iwakiri said lack of sanitary facilities can cause embarrassment and stigma for girls and eventually increase their absenteeism.
The ambassador said: “Malawi has made impressive strides in promoting access to primary education for both girl and boys in line with internationally agreed goals including the Sustainable Development Goals.
“However, in order to sustain, and further enhance this positive trend, Malawi needs additional steps forward. One of such steps is to create a safe and comfortable environment for girls to study.”
On her part, Oxfam in Malawi country director Lingalireni Mihowa said it is projected that by end of five years 20 000 adolescent girls in the targeted primary schools will benefit from this initiative.
Deputy Minister of Education Madalitso Kambauwa-Wirima called on parents to ensure that girls remain in school, further urging chiefs to ensure that early marriages and pregnancies are ended.