Floods Close Four Omusati Schools

FOUR schools in the Omusati region have closed indefinitely while three others have stopped some classes due to flooding caused by recent heavy rains.

Acting director of education in the region Laban Shapange said Ampole Primary School in the Tsandi Circuit, Ouma Combined School and Moses Aihulu Primary School in the Outapi Circuit and Onaholongo Combined School in the Ogongo Circuit have closed indefinitely.

Grade One to Four classes at Oshitudha Combined School, Omafa Combined School and Onangholo Combined School all in Outapi Circuit were also stopped.

This means up to 1 488 pupils in the Omusati region have not been attending classes this week. Of this number, 1 111 are from Outapi Circuit, 344 from Ogongo Circuit and 33 from Tsandi circuit.

Shapange said the education authorities fear that more schools will be closed as more rains are expected. He said inspectors, teachers and parents have been aised to be on alert and to monitor the situation.

Shapange said when the flooding becomes a risk to the school children, consultations are held between the principal, teachers, parents and the constituency office and they recommend to the education regional office that the school be closed. The closed schools are surrounded by oshanas full of water while the school grounds are also waterlogged with some of it flowing into the classrooms, making it difficult to access those schools. Shapange said they also do not want the children to risk contracting water-borne diseases by wading through deep waters.

He blamed road contractors, who have constructed gravel roads near the schools without consulting the communities and that they have also not provided culverts for the water to flow freely. He said the Onaholongo Combined School was totally under water and might remain closed for the entire rainy season.

“We have a big problem and something has to be done very urgently to rectify the situation,” Shapange said.

He said one solution was for the children and teachers to camp at the schools after the floods to make up for the period they lost. He said although they might have enough mattresses, blankets and other bedding for the learners and teachers who might be forced to camp at schools after the rainy season, they will need food.

Shapange said the situation was not new as it also happened in the past.

Source : The Namibian