Inadequate water supply at the Bolgatanga Girls’ Senior High School (BOGISS) in the Upper East Region, would adversely affect academic work when students return to school, as they would spend long hours in search of water.
The single-sex school, which has a student population of about 2,300 has only two boreholes, a hand pump, and a mechanized one.
Mrs Patricia Anaba, the Headmistress of the school said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency when it visited the institution to find out its preparedness to receive the Gold track second-year students and the final year students who would be resuming to prepare for their examination.
“The school has been battling with water crisis for a very long time and the unbearable situation will having adverse effects on effective teaching and learning as students will spend contact hours searching for water”.
She said the mechanized borehole was strictly directed to the kitchen to ensure that there was a sustainable water supply for cooking, while both staff and students competed with each for water at the single hand pump borehole.
“Sometimes, the students fight among themselves at the borehole and you will always see buckets lined up on all our streets, just because of water. Some of the students will come to class and be sleeping because they are always exhausted,” she lamented.
The Headmistress said occasionally, the Ghana Water Company Limited in the region supplied the school with water, however, “the rest of the days that we do not get water from the Ghana Water Company, it is always hell.”
The Headmistress said the situation posed a serious threat to the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 as school resumes because students would be struggling for water, thereby, making it difficult to observe the required precautionary protocols particularly social distancing and regular hand washing with cleaned running water.
She appealed to the government through the Regional Coordinating Council, and Non-Governmental Organizations, individuals as well as old girls of the school to assist them with a source of water to help improve academic work and ensure safety amidst COVID-19.
Apart from the water issue, the Headmistress explained that management in collaboration with the Presbyterian Hospital had arranged for a resident nurse for the school but there was no accommodation for her.
“Unlike the normal health facility where the nurses run a shift, the nurse reports to work in the morning and closes at 1700 hours, so it becomes difficult when there are emergencies in the evening,” she added.
While acknowledging a dormitory and a 12-unit classroom block built for the school by the government as part of the emergency projects, the Headmistress appealed to government to provide staff accommodation, which would not only enable the many teachers who were not staying on campus to be resident but would further ensure that the nurse was also available at all times to attend to students.