7 Sep 2007

PNG school problem after botched aid programme

12:55 pm on 7 September 2007

The school at the centre of the typhoid outbreak in Papua New Guinea says they were forced to construct pit latrines after a European Union project left them without toilets.

The deputy principal at Wabag Secondary School in Enga Province says the aidworkers pulled down the toilets as part of the project but ran out of time and left before rebuilding them.

130 students from Wabag Secondary School in Papua New Guinea's Enga province are confirmed to have contracted typhoid during an outbreak at the school last month according to the Acting Chief Executive of Wabag Hospital.

Students from the school had claimed that four hundred pupils contracted the disease but it's believed they may have inflated the number of those affected in order to raise awareness of the poor sanitation at the school.

The Acting Health Advisor for Enga Province says toilet and kitchen facilities at the school are poor and he has already sent one warning letter to the school principal.

A health inspector is due to visit the school for a second time and, if no improvements have been made, he will take the matter up with the government.

The Acting Principle of the school, Caroline Wagluo, says they want better facilities but don't have the money to build them.

"We have asked our provincial government, they've tried their very best to do the classrooms and teachers' houses, whatever project was abandoned, they did their very best, and this year they still give us money but we need more money to complete these other projects."