3 April, 2018, 12:00 am
“WE don’t mind opening up our school and accepting evacuees during natural disasters, all we ask is that they leave the place just as they found it.”
This was the plea by St Andrew Primary School committee president Mohammed Sattar.
“We give you a place to stay, please look after it,” he said.
The school housed more than 500 evacuees from Nawaka Village, Nawajikuma and Nawaka Tramline settlements on Sunday after floodwaters sent residents fleeing for their lives.
People sought shelter at the school after torrential rain associated with Tropical Cyclone Josie brought flash floods into Nadi Town and surrounding areas.
“We understand that people need shelter and we are more than happy to assist but we have been the victims of vandalism and theft for years,” he claimed.
“Every time people return to their homes, we lose mops, brooms, stationery and we have damage to our infrastructure.
“We are pleading to the people who use our school to please look after it as if it were their own.”
Mr Sattar said he was also concerned that the school had not received word from the National Disaster Management Office about the length of stay of evacuees this time.
“Classes are supposed to resume tomorrow and while we sympathise with the evacuees because the floodwaters have not receded as yet, we must also ensure that our children’s education is not adversely affected.”