Flood victims keep 5, 774 students at home 2 weeks after resumption



The fate of over 5, 000 pupils to resume school in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State has remained uncertain after victims of flood turned Gwange 3 Primary School facilities into shelter.

Primary and secondary schools across Maiduguri and elsewhere were reopened for academic activities after a four-week vacation last week. However, school activities have already started in most of the schools except the Gwange Primary School.

Some of the pupils who spoke to our reporter said they have made inquiries several times from the school management as to when the school will resume but the management would not give a date.

'We were told to stay at home because our school is occupied by flood victims,’ a primary 2 Aisha Ibrahim, one of about 5, 774 pupils of the school told our reporter.

Our reporter gathered that over 3, 500 people have been receiving shelter in the school after their houses were destroyed by flood in communities around the school.

The houses were destroyed after a consistent downpour for some days in the metropolis. A river into which water across the metropolis emptied was overwhelmed and is itself already overflowing.

YERWA EXPRESS NEWS has reported how the situation led to not only destruction of the houses that were mostly built on the river bank but also a closure of a perishable goods market known among the locals as Moro-Moro.

Our reporter has spoken to the victims occupying the school but they also appear to be uncertain about their next move. They said they are in the school because they ran out of option.

The flood victims who spoke to YERWA EXPRESS NEWS on Tuesday relate their experience during the incident.

'We have no choice but to move into the school,’ Ba’ana Bukar, one of the victims said.

'We are only left with the option of settling in this school,’ Aisha Umar, a mother of seven added.

According to them, the management of the school approved their stay in the school.

Our reporter who visited the school observed that chairs and other facilities of teaching were removed from classes and gathered in one place to give more space for the victims to settle, while verandas of the classes have been turned into kitchens.

The victims are still trooping into the school three days after a first of settlers moved in.

Our reporter further observed that with the influx of the victims into the school, available facilities such as lavatories may not be enough for them.

The victims who also complained that they are not comfortable staying at school said they are waiting for the government to come to their aid.

'It is now three days since the incident but no government official has visited yet except for National Emergency and Management Agency NEMA that provided us with drinking water,’ Ba’ana Bukar added.

Speaking to Muhammed Alhaji Mafoni, the headmaster of the school said he has forwarded the matter to the chairman of the Borno State Local Education Board and they are still waiting for an instruction.

He said it is bad that the students are staying at homes while their counterparts are going to school.

'My fear is not only this but led not my pupils engage in social vices due closure of the school,’ the headmaster said.

Last week, Prof. Umara Zulum, Governor of Borno has directed Umar Usman Kadafur, his deputy to lead an assessment team to the affected areas for further support.

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