Rev. Fr. Izuu Okoye, the Principal of Fr. Joseph Memorial High School, Aguleri in Anambra, has called for help to repair the enormous damage by Saturday’s windstorm in the school.
Okoye made the call on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, while speaking on the massive havoc wrecked on the school’s infrastructure by the windstorm.
He specifically requested the state and federal governments as well as public-spirited Nigerians to come to the aid of the school to enable it to resume teaching and learning.
He said the windstorm pulled down about 14 structures and 15 electric poles in the 61-year-old school, owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha.
He listed the administrative block, classroom blocks, kitchen, hostel block and pavilion as some of the structures destroyed by the incident.
Okoye said the incident had disrupted electricity supply to the school, while water supply had also been adversely affected.
He expressed joy that there was no loss of lives but blamed the level of destruction on the lack of trees on the school premises, which ought to serve as windbreaker.
He said that the school management was presently in a dilemma over how to meet the April 15 date for the commencement of the school examination for the 1,600 students.
Narrating the incident, he said: “It happened around 8.30pm on Saturday, the day our students returned from the Easter break.
“The windstorm came suddenly, pulled off the roof of our pavilion, destroyed our hall, library and some buildings in our staff quarters.”
The President of the Old Boys Association of the school, Dr Emman Udeakpeh, also told NAN that the entire college community was still in shock over the incident.
According to Udeakpeh, it looks like a damage by a tornado, considering the magnitude of the destruction.
He described the incident as a natural disaster, saying that the group was still consulting and working round the clock to ensure that normal academic activities returned in the school.
He said: “We need the efforts of everybody to fix the damaged infrastructure because the school and church cannot do it alone.
“For the Old Boys, it is a trying moment and an emergency situation but we are doing our best to ensure normalcy returns.
“We advise that people go into massive tree planting to protect our environment. This will help to reduce the effect of this type of storm.”
NAN reports that the boarding school is one of the biggest and functional camps for internally displaced people in the perenially flood-prone area.
Meanwhile, officials of the National Emergency Management Agency and Anambra State Emergency Management Agency had earlier visited the school to assess the level of damage.