Floods submerge Ntoroko schools ahead of opening

By Douglas Mubiru

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NTOROKO - The future of over 500 students in candidate classes in three sub-counties of Ntoroko district hangs in the balance after the schools were submerged by floodwaters. 

Lake Albert waters displaced hundreds of people, who sought shelter at Rwangara Primary School. Part of the school was also submerged. Kacwankumu and Kanara primary schools were also hit hard. 

Ben Muthahinga, the acting LC5 chairperson of Ntoroko, recently said the district does not have a place to take the students when schools reopen. 

"We are in a dilemma because over 500 pupils in candidate classes have been affected," Muthahinga said. 

He said some of the schools such as Rwangara are hosting the displaced people but all the sanitary facilities got submerged. 

"We cannot risk the lives of the learners; we are waiting for the education ministry to guide us because the water levels are increasing day by day," Muthahinga said. 

Alice Birungi, a resident of Rwangara landing site, whose house was submerged by the floods, said she has no place to relocate to from Rwangara Primary School, where she sought refuge a month ago. 

Birungi said life has become difficult as they still lack food, clean water, and medical supplies. 

"People destroyed the school desks for firewood. They used the desks to cook; so when schools open, learners will not have where to sit," she said. 

Birungi said as the schools prepare to re-open, the Government should immediately intervene and resettle the displaced people and also consider buying a speed boat to transport the learners through the flooded villages to their homes. 

Abel Musiimenta, a resident of Kacwankumu, said their biggest challenge is lack of clean drinking water and food. 

"The families are depending on the flood water for domestic use since the only borehole at the school has been dysfunctional," Musiimenta said. 

Julius Businge, who is staying at the school together with her five children, is worried that her children might not survive if the Government stops giving them relief food. 

Maureen Kyomuhendo, the Ntoroko district education officer, said recently they assessed the affected schools and they do not meet the required operating procedures set by the ministries of education and health for schools to reopen.

 Ben Muthahinga, the acting chairperson of Ntoroko, said as a district, they do not have where to take the candidates when schools re-open.