Health risks delay classes at Unitech

Lae News, Normal

THE water crisis in Lae has forced the University of Technology (Unitech) to defer the start of the 2010 academic year by a week.
Despite assurances from the PNG Waterboard that the crisis would be over by this week, Unitech council and administration are not convinced.
Unitech Chancellor Phillip Stagg said the university would defer the start of the academic year by a week until it was satisfied the water had been restored.
The decision to defer the start of the 2010 academic year was made taking into consideration the unreliable water supply to the Taraka campus as well as on-going concerns over health and hygiene issues, Mr Stagg said.
He said the threat of water-borne diseases had been worsened by the water supply problems which had forced many city residents to obtain water for cooking, washing and drinking from rivers and creeks and other unsafe sources.
PNG Waterboard has also not given a 100% guarantee that the actions it had taken in the past few days would sufficiently address the water supply problems, Mr Stagg said.
“We do not wish to place our students in such serious and dangerous situations.
“We will defer the start of the 2010 academic year until such time when the water supply has been fully restored,” he said.
Orientation and registration, which was initially set for Feb 15-19, will now be conducted from Feb 22-26.
Lectures will begin on March 1.