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.
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.
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.
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.
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.