Flood-hit school faces operational problems

- LAL PRASAD SHARMA, Pokhara
Flood-hit school faces operational problems

Oct 22, 2014-The students and teachers at Ambika Secondary School in Suikhet, Hemja are having trouble going about their normal business due to the stench emanating from damaged septic tanks. Even though the classrooms look clean, the stench from two septic tanks destroyed during the September 19 flood has remained persistent.

Along with damage to the septic tanks, the floods had swept away 50 sets of furniture and destroyed the compound walls. Even the newly-constructed four roomed building has developed cracks. Furthermore, the school ground has been filled with debris deposited by the floods. The situation is such that one cannot even tread through it easily, let alone serve as a playground.

Although the school had attempted to clear out the debris using a dozer, the effort had been in vain as it was stuck halfway in the mud.

“The report submitted by the team of technicians from the District Education Office (DEO) have estimated the cost of repairs at just over Rs 3.5 million,” said teacher Mitralal Poudel. At a time when the school had not even been able to remove the debris due to fund crunch, it is impossible for the school to come up with that kind of amount, Poudel said. As the school lacks any kind of private sources, they are compelled to turn to others for every other work demanding financial support.

Meanwhile, headmaster Hari Shrestha informed that they had declared holiday starting from Thursday till Nov 6 during which they will attempt to remove the debris. Likewise, Shrestha said that they will appeal for financial assistance from the Ministry of Education, Department of Education and Natural Disaster Relief Fund for the purpose to carry out repairs and procure essential materials needed for smooth operation of the school.    Acknowledging the circumstances, the school has suspended morning prayers and extra-curricular activities for the time-being. One of the students, Sapana Bhandari, said that they will be relieved off their problem if the concerned government agencies provided essential assistance to remove the debris from the school ground.

Meanwhile, Poudel said that they had been living in perpetual fear of an untowardly incident due to the state of the ground as small children could easily get hurt if they stumble on the stones and debris brought by the floods. Apparently, the swollen stream had made its way towards the school leaving its course due to rampant encroachment.

Published: 23-10-2014 09:01

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