Students at Rumphi Teachers’ Training College (TTC) have blamed unstable water supply for an incident on Monday whereby over 100 students were taken to Rumphi District Hospital after complaining of diarrhea.
One of the students, Philip Chisale said the boys’ hostels are the worst affected by the intermittent water supply as they go for over 24 hours without water which becomes a challenge when they want to answer the call of nature.
“We do not have pit latrines at the school and we are forced to use the water closets even in the absence of water.
“That means we do not have water to clean ourselves after using the toilet. The poor hygiene conditions caused by poor water supply and unavailability of pit latrines may have contributed to the incident,” he said.
Another student, Getrude Musaika said it was the first time students have experienced such an incident since the college opened its doors in May this year.
Principal for Rumphi TTC, Wisdom Nkhoma said in an interview on Tuesday that he started receiving complaints from students between 4:00 am and 7:30am on Monday.
He said the students were rushed to the hospital and all were treated as outpatients.
He added that officials from the hospital have collected samples of water and food which the students took and results were not ready at the time.
Rumphi District Hospital publicist, Bwanalori Mwamlima confirmed that the facility treated students from the TTC and that samples had been collected for analysis to determine the cause of the sickness.
Northern Region Water Board Public Relations Manager, Edward Nyirenda said the Board currently supplies water to 37,500 out of 41,000 people at the Boma against a capacity of 45,000.
He added that while water system in Rumphi is mostly supplied through gravity higher areas such as the TTC require power to pump water and there are challenges when power fails.