Rumphi Community concerned with children walking 34km to access education

Rumphi, November 8, Mana: People of Chakaka Village in the area of traditional authority Kachulu in Rumphi are finding it hard to access health and education services because of poor road network in the area.

This was disclosed during an interface meeting between district council officials and the community members on Monday.

The interface meeting which was organized by Evangelical Association of Malawi wanted to find solutions to the challenges people are facing in the area.

Benson Nyirenda, a pastor in the area said the area has no health facility even though the population is over 3000 people.

“It becomes so difficult for the community members to access healthcare including sexual and reproductive health services. The nearest health centre at Lura is 17 kilometres away. Emergencies are extremely difficult and we have lost a number of people on the way to the clinic,” he said.

He further expressed worry that during rainy season the area is cut off, a situation, he said puts the lives of many at danger.  

A youth representative, Eznas Nyirenda said school goind children are working long distances to access education.

 “The closest community day secondary in the area is Junju which is 17 kilometers away. Students from this area have to walk for 17 kilometres one way to access education. That is a total of 34 kilometres a day. How do you expect such children to do well in school? ,” she quarries.

She further said the school has only 4 teachers of which only one is qualified saying for the past two years no student has passed Malawi School Certificate of Education examinations at the school.

Director of Planning and Development for Rumphi District Council, Frank Mkandawire said while situation was heart breaking, the council is working hard to ensure that the people of the area are well served.

He further said the council is in the process of recruiting health surveillance so that issues of sexual and reproductive health should be well handled at the community level.

He also said that the council will also provide them with materials through constituency development fund such as cement among others for protection of shallow wells so that people should access clean water.

District Sports Officer, Gibbie Mulagha who represented district education Office said his office has allocated 3 teachers to beef up staff and Chirwa Primary School.

He however asked the community to support the construction of classrooms at which has only four teachers against eight ensure that they are provided with houses.

Currently Chirwa primary school has four teachers against eight classes.  

He also advised the community to help in the construction a hostel for the girls at Junju community day secondary school to beat the long distance so that they may concentrate in school.

Chakaka with the terrain of Chiweta with a narrow dirt road is located about 17 kilometers west of Phoka trading Centre. It is known for coffee farming.   

Programs manager for EAM Health Commission, Howard Kasiya said the meeting was organized as part of N’zatonse project which is being funded by KFW.


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