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19 schools damaged by recent cyclones

April 16, 2018 12:30 am

Nineteen schools have been damaged as a result of the recent Tropical Cyclones.

Education Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, told Parliament the worst affected schools are from the Western and Eastern Divisions.

Sayed-Khaiyum says in addition to this, a number of teacher’s quarters were also damaged at Nakini Primary School in Nausori as well as Nalaba District School in Ra.

“Madam Speaker, total of 19 schools were either partially damaged or destroyed in the wake of Cyclone Gita, Cyclone Josie and Cyclone Keni, of these schools, Madam Speaker there are nine schools in the Western Division that were affected by the flood and landslide and 10 schools in the Eastern Division that were affected structurally. These schools that sustained serious structural damage require substantial reconstruction or even to the extent of actually demolishing them and building, putting up new structures Madam Speaker.”

Sayed-Khaiyum explained there is no fixed timeline in place for the reconstruction of damaged schools as assessment is on-going in the Eastern Division.

He says all repairs will be handled by the Economy Ministry’s Construction Implementation Unit.

In a supplementary question, Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula questioned whether the reconstruction will be cyclone proof after a rebuilt St. Johns College in Cawaci, Levuka suffered some damage this year.

“I did not want to actually highlight it but I knew that honourable member would try and score political points. The St. Johns College rebuild, Madam Speaker was actually not done by us, it was done by the US Navy, Madam Speaker, as we know there were a couple of schools that were built through international efforts.”

The Education Minister highlighted no schools in the West suffered structural damage.

There were two schools in the division that were affected by a landslide and seven schools by the severe flooding.

In the Eastern Division, 10 schools sustained structural damage with TC Keni making landfall in Kadavu.

Sayed-Khaiyum was responding to an oral question from Government MP – Alvick Maharaj on the number of schools damaged by the current natural disaster.