Program to remove asbestos from schools set to kick off in Thika
A program to get rid of roofs made under harzodous asbestos in Thika schools is set to kick off, MP Patrick Wainaina has announced.
Wainaina said that as students study hard to pass their examinations, many of them, alongside their teachers at the same time have been risking their health as they are learning under roofs made of asbestos.
The sheets of most schools have been wearing off naturally and since they date back to the colonial period, they pose a health risk to the people.
“For the last 20 years and beyond, many schools in Thika have not been renovated. If we don’t provide a good, healthy learning environment, even the performance of many students will continue to dwindle,” he said.
The MP said that learning under old buildings with ageing and decomposing asbestos materials can increase the risk of getting cancer.
Speaking when he donated tanks to 12 schools in preparation for post Covid-19 return to school, Wainaina added that water collected from the roofs can cause cancer as elements accumulate in the body and that fibre emitted by the roofs can cause lung cancer if inhaled.
"As a mitigation measure, we have embarked on a program to issue schools with large water harvesting tanks. Water stored in these tanks should be sourced elsewhere besides the rains," he said adding that availability of water and hand washing facilities in schools will also heighten hygiene among learners.
The water tanks program, he said would be rolled out in other schools as his office endeavours to better the learning environment for all learners.
The independent MP called on the education ministry to come up with a risk free return to school formula.
"Endangering our children is the worst thing we can do. We sympathise with the fact that learners are out of school but again, we need them alive and safe," he noted.