MARACHA. The administrators of Atratraka primary school in Oluvu sub-county, Maracha district are counting losses following a heavy storm that ravaged the area destroying the school property worth millions of shillings.
The Monday storm blew off the school classroom block roof and destroyed solar panels, textbooks and teachers’ lesson books among other items.
But all the pupils at the school on the fateful day escaped unhurt with the exception of the school deputy headteacher, Mr Tom Adaku who sustained a leg injury while rescuing property from the collapsing roof.
According to Mr Alfred Bada, the school head teacher, the destroyed solar panels were installed at a cost shs5m.
“I don’t know where to begin now because this block contained my office, school library, P1 and P3 classes and a dormitory for girls. Now that it has been destroyed, I think we are going to learn and work outside for the remaining four weeks of this term,” the head teacher remarked.
Mr Moses Matua, a teacher who witnessed the incident observed that poor windbreaks at the school compound are to blame for the unexpected occurrence.
Matua also noted that glass windows on the windward side of the school facility grant (SFG) block built in 2000 by Arua district local government were broken and as a result, the large mass of wind entered into the building thus blowing off the roof.
The school management committee chairperson, Mr Gasper Draza urged the district to come in to rescue the situation so as to make the over 2, 300 pupils enrolled in the school to study comfortably.
“This block requires immediate renovation before heavy rains start. Our capacity as the school may not afford to finance the work and that is why we are looking forward to the district and other partners,” Draza said.
He added that the disaster may have a diverse effect on the operation of the school since all the official documents in the head teacher’s office and textbooks in the library were destroyed.
The pupils accommodated in one of the rooms of the destroyed block also complained of the destruction of their personal effects.
The disaster is expected to worsen the challenges faced by the school located 300 metres from the Uganda-DRC border especially in accommodating the overwhelming number of pupils.
It is for this reason that the Oluvu sub-county secretary for social services, Mr Christopher Emuda pledged to convene an emergency meeting in the school with sub-county executive committee members in a bid to forward a report to the district.
“I’m puzzled of the test papers, pupils’ books and unit tests that were destroyed by the storm. We want the sub-county to carry out an impact assessment on the school for proper documentation,” Emuda said.
Meanwhile, Mr Joseph Lomogin, the Maracha district Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) promised that more classroom blocks will be prioritized for needy schools in the coming financial year 2019/2020.