Heavy Winds Wreak Havoc At Walvis

An alternative classroom block that was being erected at the !Nara primary school in Walvis Bay’s Tutaleni area, was destroyed by heavy winds that swept across the country’s west coast last weekend.

Concerned residents in the area are now fearing for the safety of their children, although no one was harmed in the weekend’s episode of g winds.

The destroyed structure was being set up by the Ministry of Education to lessen afternoon classes at the school. A concerned parent who dropped off her children at the school informed New Era about the destroyed classrooms which was also confirmed by a teacher at the school.

When New Era arrived at the scene, sheets of metal were ripped off from the main structure and two workers were busy with repair work.

The teacher also told New Era that they are unhappy that they were not consulted with regards to the structures as they believe that it’s not durable for the weather conditions at the coast.

“Look at what happened over the weekend what if this has happened while there were children in the classrooms?”

The structure is made of fire retardant insulated polystyrene sheet compressed and fixed between two aluminium zinc coated steel sheets.

Allegations were also made that the structure is apparently more expensive than the alternative housing brick classrooms that were built at the school recently and shows signs of rust already.

It is believe that thirteen more units have been set up in the region of which some have been completed, however, some schools contacted by New Era have express their unhappiness with the structures.

When contacted for comment, the education office in the Erongo region said that they are not directly involved in the project as it is directly carried out from head office.

New Era learnt that the Ministry of Education awarded the contract to construction company, Boetie Construction who subcontracted Panel to Panel (PtP) to set up the structures.

Accounts manager of PtP Jaques Crowther refuted claims that the building is not safe, saying the material used for this project is pre-fabricated insulated panels, which is a widely acceptable and much used form of alternative building material.

“The material is more economical than conventional building materials. The biggest aantage is the lesser time frame in which a building can be constructed. If maintained correctly, a structure built from these panels should last about as long as a conventional structure,” Crowther said.

He also refuted claims that the building is not safe saying that not all agree with the safety issue regarding these structures or its relation to the weather conditions at the coast.

Source : New Era