WINDHOEK, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese businesses in Namibia have offered 150,000 Namibian dollars (10,416 U.S. dollars) to help upgrade sanitation facilities at a local school.
Cao Shuhua, representative of the local Chinese business community, said the aim is to create an enabling environment for learners at the John Alphons Pandeni Combined School in Omusati region.
School principal Simeon Haihambo said learners are no longer exposed to the smell-oozing from the pit latrines used over the years.
"More learners now have access to better facilities," said Haihambo.
For grade-nine learner Ester, the construction of the modern toilets means that she is accorded the chance to a more hygiene environment to manage feminine hygiene through handwashing and privacy.
"The toilets are also lockable, as such, I feel safe," she said.
According to Haihambo, the toilets have also aided to better time management and effectual teaching output amongst teachers and the staff.
"We did not have designated toilets for teachers. As such, in the past, teachers would travel to Outapi town filling service stations to relieve themselves, which disturbed teaching and learning," he said.
Erginus Endjala, governor of Omusati region, said that the construction new flushable ablution facilities also aid in meeting the Namibian government's national goals to eliminate the bucket toilet-system.
The country's national agenda under the Harambee Prosperity Plan launched in 2016 aims to construct toilets in all 14 regions to improve sanitation.
In Namibia, the national coverage of schools with toilets for learners is 86.77 percent, of which only 63.22 percent are flush toilets, shows the 2017 Education Management and Information System produced by the Education Ministry.
Sophia Ashipala, an official from the Regional Directorate of Education, said that the support by the Chinese business people is timely, adding that the ablution facilities help address the backlog at schools in Namibia.
Meanwhile, Yang Jun, political counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Namibia, said at the handover of facilities that the support offered by the Chinese business community in the northern region is a symbol of people-to-people friendship between the two countries.
This gesture, according to Yang, demonstrates the sense of social responsibility and charity towards accelerating the provision of education and empowerment of the Namibian children.