FORUM Solomon Islands International (FSII) has called on the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) to act quickly and settle Mbokonavera school outstanding water bills.
The delay to settle the water bill has resulted in the disconnection of the school’s water supply.
Solomon Water last week disconnected the school’s water supply because the school has huge unsettled dues.
Mbokonavera School in Central Honiara was one of the evacuation centres after the April 2014 floods that claimed more than 20 lives.
Many of the victims are those who lost loved ones, houses and other properties along the Mataniko River, mostly Koa Hill and upper Mataniko river vicinity.
It was reported that the unsettled water bill is a huge one believed to be accumulated by the large number of evacuees at the evacuation centre.
Hundreds of flood victims were accommodated at the School, causing all kinds of problems to the school, including students, parents, teachers and the community.
Despite numerous calls and agreements for victims to vacate the school, the calls fell on deaf ears.
At one point angry students stoned the evacuation centre after refuges failed to move out after a deadline agreed upon by the victims, NDMO, HCC and the school.
Victims retaliated by attacking some of the students. The flood victims finally moved out almost 4 months after the normal school calendar started.
But in a statement yesterday, FSII’s Chief Executive Officer said authorities cannot victimize the students for an administrative mishap.
He said the Solomon Water may have done the right thing as far as their stringent policies are concerned but they have failed to comprehend the adverse effect created by nature on the school, the students and parents.
The National Disaster Management Office on the other hand, should not wait for the school administration to provide them the Bills before they begin the process of payments.
“They should know very well that the Mbokonavera School water issue is an outstanding one,” Afuga said. Afuga added the manner in which the issue has transpired pointed at one thing – a failure by responsible authorities to act swiftly to evade further disruption to the innocent students.
“I believe those who have a responsibility to play in this issue have miserably failed,” he added.
“The school Board and Administration should keep the NDMO informed of the situation because its paramount concern should be the students’ learning and their future.
“That means a daily follow up via phone calls or walk up to the NDMO office.
“To wait for the day the disconnection occur is contemptible excuse,” Afuga explained.
The FSII Chief said the students of Mbokonavera School are equally stressed and traumatized just like the flood victims because many of them came from the flood affected areas and that they knew very well they have missed so much of school work and academically pretentious.
Afuga calls on Solomon Water to apply consideration and understanding on Mbokonavera School because their plight is not their own making and it is no secret.
“Everybody knows the disastrous situation the school has gone through.
“That the cause is nature and the failure belongs to NDMO and not the School,” Afuga explained.
He said the disaster caused by the flood has in fact created another unusual disaster to the Mbokonavera school students.
“Truly the April flood disaster has caused psychological disaster to the students, parents and staff and the entire community of Mbokonvera School,” Afuga said.
He calls on NDMO to act swiftly and settle the unsettled bills as soon as possible.
– FSII New