By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE Usino-Bundi district was plunged into a state of emergency after floods washed away a school and bridges yesterday.
The floods also left a trail of destruction, wiping out food gardens.
The Waput Primary School near Usino village had all its properties, including teachers’ houses, classrooms and teaching materials all washed away by the raging currents.
Senior professional assistant Jimmy Uguro who went to assess the school told The National that the provincial authorities had no choice but to close down the school
“Teachers are now accommodated by locals on higher grounds and the community is starting to rebuild the school using bush materials.
“Villagers lost their houses, food gardens, cash crops and domesticated animals whenever the floods strike,” Mr Uguro said.
Meanwhile, Brahman Secondary School teacher reported that classes were suspended after the Pukpuk and Maria Bridges were washed away, cutting off the access of more than 10,000 people in the Bundi and Brahman areas.
Michael Suine said there were no food rations and students could not get across the overflowing Ramu River following two months of continuous rain.
“Seven primary and elementary schools in the area and three health facilities, including churches are completely destroyed.
“The bridge was the only connection to the area and to the Marengo Copper Mine and if nothing is done to fix the road, then the project is likely to be stalled,”
Mr Suine said.
Mr Uguro confirmed that the school would be closed until a new bridge was built but that could take a long time, jeopardising the education of more than 700 students.
“We need help from provincial and national governments and others to rescue the school and the people who have been made homeless, and those cut off from civilisation,” he said.
Usino local level government council president Bob Wati said the continuous rain and flooding in the area was now a health risk to the people.