MIRI: They don’t have water to cook meals. They don’t have water to drink. They don’t have water to bath. And yes, they smell.
This situation is not fiction, but is happening in SMK Suai in Niah.
The sad thing is that the school’s more than 600 teachers and boarders have been simmering in this hellish condition for the last three months when their water taps dried up.
Principal Abu Saran Sahari is at wits end on how to deal with this arid situation.
He is contemplating sending the students home and to ask them to come to school on a daily basis.
“But this will give rise to another problem because for many students, their houses are not near,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.
Abu Saran added that the situation had been nightmarish for him because the poor living condition had resulted in the grades of students, notably the PMR students, plummeting in recent months.
“The trial result dropped from 60 per cent passing rate to only 40 per cent. I do not blame the students for the drop because I know they are stressed out by this water shortage problem. “Just imagine having to live without water day-in-day-out.”
Abu Saran said the Public Works Department (PWD) had been sending tankers to the school for the past three months but the service had been erratic and the amount insufficient at times.
“The tankers should send at least five tanks of water to the school daily because there are almost 600 boarding students here. But on some days, we get only two tankers sent, and, sometimes, no tankers came!
“Take today, for instance, it is already late afternoon and we are out of water. The tankers have not arrived, and my students and teachers do not even have a drop of water for cooking and drinking.
“How are they supposed to survive like this?” asked Abu Saran, who added that sometimes the students and teachers had no choice but to hitch a ride to Pekan Sepupok to buy mineral water.
He appealed to the government to do something about this quickly as the students and teachers could not cope with this burden much longer.
He said the school had been facing problems of low water pressure since it was established more than 10 years ago.
This lead to the implementation of a new water plant project last year, but the problem remained.
He added that several nearby villages were also experiencing water problems which are believed to be due to the piping issues under the new water plant project.