Thursday, June 20, 2024

Health Inspectors swing into action and shut down Schools across the country


Some of disappointed learners of Chongwe's Mukamambo Girls Boarding School pupils waiting for transport back home after the school was abruptly shut
Some of disappointed learners of Chongwe’s Mukamambo Girls Boarding School pupils waiting for transport back home after the school was abruptly shut
Government Health Inspectors across the country swung into action and shut down a number of schools across the country after just one week after schools officially open last week.

In Chongwe, learners at Mukamambo Girls High School were ordered to leave the school within 24 Hours after health inspectors declared the institution unfit for human habitation.

The school has 531 girls in boarding and over 3,000 day scholars.

Inspectors from the Ministry of Health on Friday ordered the school management to inform parents and guardians of the boarders that learning cannot be allowed to continue as the poor state of infrastructure poses a danger to the health of the learners.

In December, one of the dormitories had its roof blown off after a heavy downpour and government through Lusaka Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe promised to rehabilitate the damaged dormitory before schools reopen.

But when the school reopened on Sunday, January 21st 2018, the dormitory had not been rehabilitated forcing school authorities to put the girls in the four remaining dormitories thereby causing overcrowding.

When the inspectors toured the institution on Friday, they declared that the institution is unfit to house the learners further ordering that the school could be a fertile ground for Cholera.

The school management immediately informed the pupils and later phoned parents and guardians that they have to vacate the school premises by end of Saturday.

A check on Saturday afternoon found that the school’s kitchen and dining hall had been closed and the learners in boarding were only offered meals for Breakfast and no lunch was provided.

A number of girls were found stranded in and around the school premises while some visibly disappointed parents and guardians came to pick up their girls.

Some parents interviewed said it is shocking that government could fail to rehabilitate a dormitory when they knew very well that schools were to reopen in January.

“This is so unfair to our girls. These guys (administration) knew that the dorm needed rehabilitation and they had enough time to do it especially after the holidays were extended due to Cholera but they still failed to do a simple job and now we are getting affected. Why did they get the money we paid for the fees when they knew that the school was not ready?” queries a concerned parent.

But School Headmistress a Mrs Hara who refused to be interviewed referred all queries to the Ministry of Education.

“I am just a civil servant so I don’t know what is going on. All we have been told is that we are not reopening any time soon because all these roofs have to be replaced. The place is not safe for the girls. I was told that the Ministry is awaiting for Parliament to reopen so that that they could ratify the reopening of the school,” she said.

She who also advised some parents and guardians to consider transferring the girls to other schools revealed that the administration is also exploring possibilities of sending some of the learners to Silverest High School as a stop gap measure who will only return after the rehabilitation works are done.

Chongwe's Mukamambo Girls Boarding School pupils waiting for transport back home after the school was abruptly shut
Chongwe’s Mukamambo Girls Boarding School pupils waiting for transport back home after the school was abruptly shut

On Wednesday, David Kaunda Technical Secondary School was closed due to lack of water while Rufunsa Boarding School was also shut down on Friday after inspectors declared the school unfit for learning activity.

In Kawambwa, Kawambwa Boys Technical School in Luapula Province was shut down due to poor hygiene and sanitary conditions at the learning institute. A team of senior government officials arrived at this decision after it visited the school to verify health concerns raised by health Inspectors from the Council and Ministry of Health.

Both Acting District Administrative Officer, Steven Musonda and Council Chairperson, Kalumba Chifumbe confirmed the closure of the learning institution .

Mr. Musonda said that a team of Public Health Inspectors that inspected the sanitary condition at the school have advised not to reopen the school until the set benchmarks are met by the school authorities.

And Kawambwa town Council Chairperson Kalumba Chifumbe has described the poor hygiene and sanitation conditions at the School as unacceptable.

He said that the poor sanitation situation at the learning institution has been an outstanding problem as far back as 2016 and wondered why the school authority has done nothing to address it.

The dormitory whose roof was blown off in December has remained unattended to forcing the girls to sleep in over crowded remaining dorminatories
The dormitory whose roof was blown off in December has remained unattended to forcing the girls to sleep in over crowded remaining dormitories

In Mwansabombwe, a Team of Mwansabombwe District Health inspectors declared that four schools in the area will remain closed due to the unhygienic conditions they were found in.

The Health Inspectors who went round the district to check on schools found the four schools lacked sanitation, among other health concerns.

Mwansabombwe District Health Inspector Brian Chanda said in an interview that the affected schools have been ordered to remain closed to ensure that there is no cholera outbreak as the schools lack proper sanitation.

The affected schools area Kapale Boarding Secondary and Chinyanta Secondary Schools while others are Kabumbu Primary and Seesa Primary Schools, respectively.

The Inspectors have given the schools administration a two weeks grace period to address the their sanitation problems or risk being closed indefinitely.

Mukamambo Girls Boarding School was closed on Friday after health inspectors declared it unfit for human habitation
Mukamambo Girls Boarding School was closed on Friday after health inspectors declared it unfit for human habitation

In Mwinilunga, Kanyihampa Day Secondary School in Mwinilunga district of Northwestern Province has been closed down by Public Health Inspectors due to poor sanitary conditions.

District Education Board Secretary Michael Masumba says the learning institution which runs from early childhood to grade 11 shares the same infrastructure following the upgrading of the school by government last year.

Mr Masumba said in an interview that the Health Inspectors closed the school which is located within the central Business district citing poor sanitary conditions not conducive for the learners adding that the school only has 5 water borne toilets and 5 pit latrines to cater for over 2 500 pupils.

The situation resulted into filthy school surroundings as a result of open defecation by the pupils due to inadequate toilets and lack of hand washing facilities outside the latrines are some of the other reasons why the learning institution has been shut down.

Mr Masumba has since appealed to all the Head Teachers in the district to ensure that their schools provide a clean and safe learning environment by meeting the required standards of hygiene to avoid the outbreak of any water borne diseases.

One of the dormitories at Mukamambo Girls High School declared unfit for habitation
One of the dormitories at Mukamambo Girls High School declared unfit for habitation

In Kaputa district, Health Inspectors in closed Kaputa Primary School due to poor sanitary conditions. The health inspectors who visited the school have cited inadequate latrines as the reason for closing the school as the institution only has 13 pit latrines to cater for over 2 000 pupils out of which only 6 were in a good condition.

Kaputa Primary is the main school in Kaputa district accommodating children from the Boma and the surrounding villages.

In Solwezi, District Commissioner Rosemary Kamalonga has disclosed that 9 schools in the area have discontinued classes due to poor sanitation.

This was after a combined team of inspectors from the office of the District Education Board Secretary, District Health and the Solwezi Municipal Council went round to check on the sanitation levels at the schools.

Ms Kamalonga said some of the schools have no running water while others the ablutions blocks were poorly managed.

The DC said following the outbreak of Cholera in the country no school with poor sanitary condition will be allowed to conduct lessons as it poses a risk to both the pupils and the teachers.

Ms Kamalonga stated that the schools will only be allowed to resume classes after sanitation standards are improved.

She added that the inspection exercise will be extended to all schools in the district.


  1. Just after collection of school fees then inspectors are sent to close schools. You saying they didn’t inspect if schools were ready to open. You got jokes

    • General disorganization by this government they should have stuck with 30th Jan to review and make final confirmation which should have included a thorough inspection of schools and getting all schools in prone areas reach the standards. They could have had health inspectors from other none prone areas come to Lusaka province to expedite the process of inspection. They do this with police moving them temporarily to areas that need mass policing. This is utmost stupidity. The started off well by saying the will give a full review by end of Jan and as is typical of PF govt the succumbed to populist approach

    • This is very unfair the kids and their parents will be inconvenienced terribly. But why can’t these inspectors apply the same standards to Council public fee toilets where there is never any hand wash soap??? These council run toilets are always in a bad shape despite fees being paid to use them. This is why we remain a backward country that qualifies for the title of sh1thole. Let’s also look at the Prisons! Those poor chaps I’m telling die each die from cholera and dysentry but no one seems to care. Everyone knows there is no sanitation in Zambian prisons yet the Prisons receive funding from govt and the Prison Commission always boast of bumper harvests. So if we apply this standard then close the prisons as well. May God deal with those causing these injustices accordingly.

    • PF/ GRZ/ Lungu’ educ system has now gone to d*gs. Innocent school kids are being punished at the expense of incompetent PF/GRZ overpaid lazy politician and some civil servants.
      Some of the parents had to borrow transport monies just to enable the young adults get back to schools.
      PF/Lungu, You are equally putting financial pressure on families who can’t even make ends meet.
      PF/GRZ/Lungu, you are cruel and you have lost direction on how to govern effectively your own people.

      Bo Lungu, listen to the cries of the Zambian people and do the right thing.

    • And when you look back to AG Report you will recall that over $6 million was misappropriated by the ministry of Education…these kids are being robbed by these shameless lazy thieves in govt!!

    • This just shows the misplaced priorities of this administration. To them, education is not a priority. Those poor parents who paid the school fees will need to be refunded. So much money has been wasted on meaningless expenses, which could have been used to upgrade these deplorable looking schools. Pay extra attention to education and sanitation if Zambia is to go anywhere in terms of development. You lazy lot.

    • You absolutely right. They had all the time to advise the Ministry of Education during the holidays to attend to the issues raised. I guess it is the cholera issue , its given the guts to see through their recommendations.

      I hope with renewed courage these inspectors will shut down Lusaka CBD and the CBDs other cities that are unfit for human habitation. This is in view of the uncontrolled street vending .

  2. Credit where due.

    Great reactive measures.

    This is what President Lungu does

    I have been to zambia and it’s dirty and filth. I threw up many times

    Carcasses people arm puts smelling. Bad teeth.

    Everything is wrong about the county.




  3. You’ve all seen the deplorable UNZA hostels certified by Nkandu Luo as satisfactory.Why would lower institutions aim higher if that’s the low bar set by GRZ?

  4. So sad that it had to take about 80 precious human lives for GRZ to the obvious.It should NEVER have gotten to this bad state.

    • It’s because Lungu and his ministers don’t know what they’re doing. That’s why. Their administration style is by trial and error. Add corruption to the mix, and this is the result. What a shame.

    Please! Should it take the entire president to register his disappointment on the deplorable status of schools across the country? It is wiser to rehabilitate collapsing and colloquial schools before you construct new ones. Parents put up a struggle to send those kids to school. To be told to go and bring back their kids is highly propestorus. Indeed where were these SO called inspectors before a delayed school reopening? Just have a look at the status of the SO called dormitory in the picture above.
    It looks like a toilet or chicken run.

  6. Another government department failing ! What has happened to all the money that has been borrowed ?
    Our roads are still unfinished, schools are in a state of disrepair, the list goes on. The government must be held accountable for this !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Disgraceful !

  7. Government failure due to poor leadership. Where is our country going? It can only be in reverse.
    How are children going to learn like this?

    Parents have struggled to find the funds and now this.

    2021 please come fast. We need to fire some chap.

    • The parents will need to be refunded. Otherwise they need to sue the government. Some lawyer in Lusaka, please look into this and help these parents. Sue the government on their behalf, if they don’t get refunded. They have to get refunded for all the expenses related to this, including transportation money they spent. This is rid1culous. You shouldn’t make poor parents pay for your incompetence. Money is hard to come by. Give them a refund!

  8. Chaos, Cholera and Corruption all mixed up. If the PF was not busy taking Mukula and Fire Tenders, the would have been funds for the roof. Or would it have been yet another unfinished project due to incompetent PSs?

  9. Ubupuba mu Zambia bwalikulisha. the so called health inspectors had about 2 month period of carrying out those inspections and they are now prompting innocent children and parents. Poor Planning,everythng poor infact u deserve unsatisfactory u ‘*****s’ 4 lack of a beta term

  10. The poor sanitary conditions in schools has been a problem for decades. I remember back in 1995 when I was in boarding school, the school went for a month without water. The fact is, democracy has paid little attention to sanitary conditions in schools and other public institutions. Politicians have focused on themselves. What is needed now is political will to improve sanitary conditions in all public institutions. Let’s put the money were its needed. Not ma unecceasary trips, suv for wives and girlfriends, heavy allowances for ministers and parliamentarians, the list goes on. On this one, no single political party is to blame.

    • What do you mean no single political party is to blame ? Which party is in GRZ and has just spent $17 billion ?

      That is you want.kers are good , passing blame and no accountability….you deserve to live with cholera.

    • True that @True democrate! These horrible conditions in Zambian Schools are long standing and not a new phenomenon. I attended Secondary School in the late eighties and school sanitation conditions were just as disgusting.

      First I went to Mkushi Sec. Sch where water on campus was as rare as a District Health Inspector’s visit. As a result ablution blocks and, especially, toilets were a NO-GO AREA. Those who attended Mkushi Sec Sch can attest to this. The bush just West of the campus and adjoining the Boys Dormitories (nicknamed THE WEST) was the toilet for most part. You just felt for the girls whose Dorms are surrounded by homes and did not have a bush.

      It was the same problem at Hillcrest Sec Sch in Livingstone. Water problemsvon campus were constant which led to poor sanitary…

    • Continue:

      …conditions. And no one can tell me that all these Govts that have held power since KK didn’t know or don’t know about this problem in our schools.

      I am sure, like everything else in Zambia, someone is sleeping at the switch waiting for the President to speak or tell them how to do their freaking jobs. Funds to undertake some of these rehabilitation works may even be available and sitting in some Govt account somewhere waiting to be used. But Ministers and people lower on the food chain all seem lost and confused. The result of many decades of micromanagement by the Central Govt which leaves no room for independent thought abd intiative at lowere rangs of Govt. Even worse, it appears people tasked with such responsibilities are busy looking out for only themselves and…

    • Continue:

      …their families (e.g., Kambwili and GBM when they were Ministers) while the rest of Zambia decays and rots. Presidents themselves are far from being blameless. Other than maybe KK, the rest of them have had an appetite for personal wealth accumulation than what is good for our Country and it’s poor citizens. Who can forget FJT Chiluba with his suits and scooners. LPM with his family tree and a codre of corrupt Ministers and their farms. RB with his Mpundu trust, out of control children and who knows what else. MCS with his CRIMINAL CARTEL at State House. That’s Zambia for you. It’s like banging your head against the wall!

    • Politicians steal because we let them. We’re very docile in Zambia, as well as Africa as a whole. That’s why incompetent corrupt politicians walk all over us. Mass protests and demonstrations would keep them in check. Otherwise things will never change.

  11. Didn’t they certify the schools fit for re-opening? Or was it the school authorities who advised government that they were ready? If these people did not see the dirt then the standards of our school authorities up to the headmasters and so called DEBS is fit for the garbage dump site.

  12. Unfortunately these are the low standards and mentality we see in these “school authorities” all the way up to and including the lecturers at CBU.

    • It’s lack of accountability….no one is responsible for anything…this goes all the way up to statehouse..

  13. In as much as the closing of schools is being done in the best interest of the pupils to protect them against any water borne disease, it is costly both to parents/guardians and pupils. The pupils will lose learning time and parents/guardians will be somehow inconvenienced We need to cultivate the culture of being proactive rather than being reactive. With good foresight and hindsight all this would have been avoided. It is very unfortunate that this cholera is a blessing in disguise because without it all these efforts to inspect and enhance the sanitary conditions of the schools would have not been made. Now the question is, these health inspectors where were they all this time? These people have been sleeping on their duties and so they equally need to be held accountable.

  14. It seems we have people who don’t think properly in charge, I don’t know how them can manage our affairs. Why didn’t they inspect before opening? When Robert Makasa University was opened there was no water and electricity for sometime, did students catch cholera? Who decided to open a structure that wasn’t ready? Zambia a Christian nation? my foot!

  15. So we have health inspectors in this country? Were they recruited after the outbreak of cholera in Lusaka or this is just another example of “stalled” administration right through the country?

  16. Bupompwe, ubun’go muntungulushi sha calo, the only thing they know is to plunder the coffers of the nation by filling up their pockets capwa. What Christianity is there in a nation where the whole chain of leaders starting from the President down the line niba pompwe beka beka who were just paupers before they went into government and are now ransacking the treasury. Mukalapila mwe bena Zambia twalemweeba nomba tamumfwa ubukopo bwenu nabumuletelela.

  17. New Curriculum needed! Time to train Zambians how to use a toilet. Donors are ready to fund this project. Put your policy papers and proposals in place. Toilet training should be made mandatory and the pass mark should be 100%. These health inspectors are also overzealous, Sadistic and reckless! Did they consider the plight of pupils in examination classes and the impact this delay will have on performance? You should have simply put together action items for DEBS to carry out. Moreover, your inspections should have been done during school holidays. This is very irresponsible! We are killing the future of more children and don’t be surprised if we end up with more people on the streets! What a bloody failed state we have become!

  18. Yet this is a govt that is happy to spend $42million on 42 Scania Trucks but has no emergency funds to repair roofs for girls dormitories. I feel sorry for the staff and girls of that school…we are paying the price for PF corruption and recklessness.

  19. Agony is having diarrhea now. You wonder if it is cholera or not. How does one differentiate cholera from diarrhea? Watery stools? So is diarrhea. Absence of vomiting. What about Congo dust?

  20. The rot and medicracy permeates all the way from statehouse where accoutability is foringe…….they dpent all that money in a looting frenzy and forgot the basics ….its like some one wearing a new suit but forgetting to wipe the from their…..

  21. Lungu should show that he’s in charge of this country by firing the Minster of Education for laxity and management incompetence! Why did he do things the other way round? He should have ordered for health inspections of all schools before announcing the opening date! Such things are impacting negatively on Lungu’s hold on government strategic planning and implementation which seems to be very weak on his side! Its time he fired some ministers, including Dora Siliya for the confusion on e-voucher implementation! If he starts firing them they will stop taking official government business in a relaxed manner!

    • Lazy Lungu can never fire anyone for incompetence or non performance as he is a lazy bum himself…he can only fire you if you are ambitious and a threat to his seat!!

    • There should be no declaration of the opening date just like there should no campaign season. Classes should always start the third monday of January. For second term second Monday of May and first Monday of August. Then set standard expectations in terms of preparation and sustainability. Anything short of this is masobela.

  22. No third picture in the article is an ablution block not dormitory. Mukamambo sec school is less than 15 yrs old . I wonder why it is in this state. A case of poor workmanship

  23. Dk was opened because they where fixing new toilet pans and cisterns,so the report of closing Dk on wednesday is a wrong one and luck of proper reporting from our journalist.

  24. The political parties in waiting should give us a plan of how they will get the civil service to tick again. I mean systems are decentralised in Zambia, we have got first of a headmaster/mistress as the CEO of the school, then a DEBS in every district,then we get the council health inspectorate,the mayor,the DC, the Provincial PS,ministry PS,line ministers etc. All these people work and draw salaries from January to December what have they been doing? Granted a blown roof needs money from central government, do you need central government to come and clean your toilets,rehabilitate a cistern handle etc…Example of incompetence, that headmistress above saying she doesnt know whats happening to her own school then what do we pay her for??

    • It also doesn’t help to have a president who is seemingly clueless and thinks someone else is in charge. Bwana president set the tone for your workers,provide a direction which they will follow. May i remind you workers do what you inspect them to do not what you expect them do. You have got a lot workers who are just drawing salaries without performing their duties. It is a shame that people had to die of cholera to realise we have a health inspectorate in each district! And this team had close to 2 months to carry out the necessary inspection only to inconvenience the parents/pupils after schools were declared open by you own minister! If you dont see the confusion in your camp then bwana kateka, you are the wrong CEO for this country!

  25. These pupils will write same examinations with those that are learning now? Please don’t open your mouth if they fail. They have been desturbed physically and emotionally

  26. Schools in Lusaka and Copperbelt are performing poorly academically. Head teachers and DEBS are receiving money from patents but cannot clean up sanitary and water situation in the schools. The general purpose fund is stolen to build houses for head teachers and their bosses.

Comments are closed.

Read more

Local News

Discover more from Lusaka Times-Zambia's Leading Online News Site -

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading