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Uganda, 3 November 2014: PLE pupils from Ntoroko District sit first set of examinations despite rainy season

3 November, KAMPALA, Uganda – The 474 Primary Seven pupils in Ntoroko district have a reason to smile after sitting for their first set of examinations today: mathematics and social studies. The children, according to district authorities, are happy and excited to sleep outside their homes in a new environment.

“The children were very happy this morning as they prepared for their first examination. With the support offered, the children have been given an opportunity to sit their final primary leaving examinations which would have otherwise been impossible considering that the rainy season has just started,” says Noah Masereka, Community Development Officer Ntoroko and focal person for UNICEF programmes who was at Kibuku at by midday. Kibuku Primary School is hosting 44 pupils from Kibuku, Rwamabale and Bweramule Primary Schools.

By 8:00am, the pupils were ready for exams. Thanks to the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Ntoroko District administration, and Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) which has enabled the children to sit for the exams despite the floods.

By last night, all the children had been transported to the three designated sites at Kibuku Primary School, the Butunguma Primary School and Kamuhigi Primary School. UNICEF facilitated district vehicles, including those of Police, Electoral Commission and a UNICEF vehicle, to transport the children. Butungama Primary School, which is the furthest among the three sites, is hosting pupils from Butungama, Budiba, Masojo and Kasungu Primary Schools. Kamuhigi Primary School is hosting Kabindiri, Kyabakunguru and Rwangara Primary Schools.

The children were served breakfast and had rice and beans for lunch accompanied by water; all provided by UNICEF. Dinner will also be served.

The Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) with the Police and Resident District Commissioner’s office are ensuring security at all the sites as child protection is critical in emergencies. To further provide protection, all children at the three sites were accompanied by male and female chaperones who are to taking care of the children while at the temporary shelter.

To date, UNICEF has provided 20 tarpaulins (both accommodation and temporary examination centres); 304 Blankets; 304 Mosquito Nets; 304 Jericans; 304 cups and Plates; 304 saucepans, a box of soap and water purification tablets, food, water, firewood.

By this morning, all the essential household items had been distributed to the affected children and tents erected to provide shelter. In addition, district education officers and inspectors of schools together with UNEB personnel are taking lead in the coordination of the examinations in the three centres to ensure that the exercise is completed smoothly.

On the sanitation front, the affected children are using latrine and bathroom facilities at the sites with no major challenges. To protect the children from any disease outbreaks, UNICEF has provided water purification tablets as well as EMO solution, for the latrines. EMO solution eliminates foul odour from latrines and decomposes faecal matter, subsequently improving sanitation. The school also has bathrooms for the both boys and girls.

As a result of the prolonged rainy season, rivers Lami and Semuliki merged and burst their banks spreading over miles of habitable land. Additionally, smaller streams from Kabarole district have found their way into Ntoroko district affecting communities and schools.

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UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information, please contact:

Catherine Ntabadde, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Uganda, +256 772 629567, +256 703 729 567



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