Oxfam and the government of Japan have handed over 21 sanitary building blocks for girls to 20 primary schools in Mzimba District.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, Japanese Ambassador to Malawi, Satoshi Iwakiri, said his country gave a grant for the facilities to promote girls’ education in the district.

‘Where girls are disadvantaged, we should put deliberate policies to enable girls to excel just like boys’, Iwakiri said.

‘These facilities we are inaugurating today are some of the approaches that would enhance the retention of girls in school’.

He acknowledged that lack of sanitary facilities in schools could lead to embarrassment and stigma for girls and eventually increase absenteeism.

Oxfam Country Director Lingalireni Mihowa says evidence has shown that if schools do not have proper washrooms or facilities, girls are likely to drop out or take a break when they are in their menstrual cycle.

‘We have been in Mzimba for three years implementing a project that is supporting retention and completion of the education in primary schools and through the Japanese embassy we received a grant that supported the building of these infrastructures to support girls’ water and sanitation hygiene’, Mihowa said.

Deputy Minister of Education, Madalitso Wirima, thanked the Japanese government and Oxfam for the donation, saying it was in line with the ministry’s girl education strategy.

It was learnt that about 4,000 upper primary school girls from the 20 schools would benefit from the sanitary facilities in Chindi and Mpherembe.

Source: Malawi News Agency

Photo source: Malawi News Agency

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