The National, Tuesday 21st August, 2012
By PISAI GUMAR
THE Waput Adventist Primary School in Usino-Bundi, Madang, faces closure by debris from a landslide at the headwaters of Me’eh River. After a flood in 2010 ravaged facilities, the school was relocated 200 metres inland from the Ramu-Madang Highway.But it is now under threat as the landslide debris has created a dam that could burst its banks in heavy rains.School principal Jimmy Michael said despite the relocation behind a small hill, the area faced the river.“The dam is about five to seven metres deep and it is frightening; if heavy rain causes the flood, the dam will swell up and burst and the water will directly hit the school for a second time,” Michael said.
The school is two kilometres from the river.“The dam needs to be cleared and students need some disaster preparedness awareness in case of disasters, especially landslides and floods because we are prone to such events.” He appealed to the provincial disaster and emergency unit to oragnise the blasting of the dam.
Waput is one of the three primary schools along the highway. It is a level four school, with 429 students and 13 teachers. Michael said the students needed a library and books to improve reading and writing skills as well as male and female dormitories to accommodate students who walked daily from as far as Iguruwe, Somau, Tapopo, Yakumbu and Nauna. “Teachers also need proper accommodations,” he said.