New access road for school

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Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Minister, Sakiusa Ditoka and students of Wainimakutu Primary and Wainimakutu Secondary School in Namosi. Picture: ANA MADIGIBULI

For 42 years, students who attended Wainimakutu Primary School in the highlands of Namosi only used an old access road that led to the school.

When the old access road’s culvert was washed away, students for almost 10 years had to wade in ankle deep or sometimes knee deep water to get to school.

With an inaccessible road, primary school students had to seek approval to use the Wainimakutu Secondary School entrance to get to school – simply to avoid getting wet before starting their school day.

Now stepping into icy waters to get to school will be a thing of the past as the students witness the commissioning of their new $23,349.84 access road.

The new access road will allow over 200 students and teachers to arrive in school safely when heavy rain is experienced in the highlands.

Students beamed with excitement as they witnessed their new road commissioned – a sigh of relief from the challenges they had faced in the past.

One of the Wainimakutu Primary School Year 8 student, Emele Cavariki said she liked the new school access road.

Cavariki said the new road will make travelling to school much easy when it rains, as they don’t have to cross the frequently flooded old access road to get to school.

The 13-year-old from Nasava Village, Naitasiri said now they will get to school and return home dry thanks to of the new road.

Wainimakutu Secondary School manager, Ilaitia Mice said the new access road would allow primary and secondary students to arrive safely at school.

Mr Mice said for many years they have witnessed the challenges that the primary students go through because of the washed-off access road.

He said the commissioning of the new road means students get off directly at the school or at the main road (linked to the access road) and walk straight to school without crossing any stream.

“It has been four year since the two schools have attempted to get the new access road and just last year the request was fulfilled,” he said.

Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Minister, Sakiusa Ditoka said it was concerning to hear how the students crossed the water daily to get to school.

Mr Ditoka said most of the time the students would have their uniforms, shoes and bags wet when crossing the old access road.

He said parents were particularly concerned about letting their children go to school when the water level rises because of the heavy downpour.

He said his Ministry allocated $23,349.84 for the new project.

He added that the new road will not only be used by the students, but will also be used by the teachers who can now get their vehicles to enter the school property.

He said the project would help students and teachers attend school daily.

The two schools provide education for students from Naqarawai, Wainimakutu, Naraiyawa and Saliyadrau from Namosi and Nasava from Naitasiri.

It takes more than three hours to get to Wainimakutu Primary and Wainimakutu Secondary School on a four-wheel drive vehicle.

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