YUMBE. There is sigh of relief among members of the community following the reopening of Tulik primary school (PS), a government aided primary school in Kei sub-county, Yumbe district.
The school which was temporarily closed last week by the community over water crisis was reopened on Wednesday after the district intervened by repairing the community borehole near the school.
Water situation at the school became a big issue since the beginning of the term following the breakdown of the borehole.
The decision to close the school was reached at by the community in a joint meeting held last week.
Ms Margaret O'bitre, the head teacher of the school said pupils have been surviving under harsh conditions in the school due to the water scarcity.
"Our parents-teachers’ association (PTA) chairman has been helping us in fetching water for the pupils since the beginning of the term but he couldn't do much because of the big population of the school. As the number continued increasing, the chairman later had to abandon fetching water for the pupils," she said.
"Children have been restless in the school but we were unable to do anything not until the meeting was called to take a decision of closing the school. We were given the option of buying water tank to store water for the children but it's not easy because we can't use UPE money to buy water tank and Jerrycans," O'bitre added.
Tulik primary school has an enrolment of over 700 pupils but the aspect of hand washing and cleaning latrines has been lacking in the school due to water scarcity which could expose the children to the risk of contracting sanitation related diseases.
Mr Muhamud Taban, the school PTA chairperson said if the decision of closing the school was not reached, nobody would have bordered to repair the borehole.
He said people sometimes intervene in addressing an issue when the situation is worse.
"It was a hard moment for me when I volunteered to fetch water for the pupils. I travel very far distances to fetch water every day, I transport three Jerrycans of water daily for the learners but those have not been enough for the over 700 children," Taban said.
He stressed that due to fatigue and the long distance, he decided to stop fetching water for the children until the resolution to close the school was reached at.
However, the district authorities blamed the headteacher for implementing the decision taken by the community to close the school, saying proper procedures should have been followed in addressing the issue.
Recently, we reported how a similar water shortage hit Okubani PS in Bidibidi refugee settlement Zone Five in Yumbe district, forcing locals to struggle over water with pupils.
But officials attributed the scarcity to the current dry season and promised to address the challenge in the near future.