Fuel short­age leaves 40 schools in the dark

The Borneo Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Philip Kiew re­porters@the­bor­neo­post.com

MIRI: More than 40 pri­mary and sec­ondary schools here and in Lim­bang di­vi­sion have been hit by diesel short­age – some over 10 days ago – as the ap­pointed con­trac­tor has fallen be­hind in stock­ing up fuel tanks.

Re­li­able sources told The Bor­neo Post the SMK Tu­toh Apoh and SMK Te­meng­gong Datuk Lawai Jau, both in Baram, have been left in dark­ness for more than 10 days while a fur­ther 28 pri­mary schools in Baram have also been sim­i­larly af­fected.

Schools in Lawas are also said to have suf­fered a sim­i­lar fate, in­clud­ing SK Long Lup­ing, SK Ba Ke­lalan and SK Long Ten­goa, af­ter their fuel sup­ply ran out last week.

Al­though stu­dents are now en­joy­ing their mid-year hol­i­days from June 8 to June 23, the schools them­selves re­main op­er­a­tional as ad­min­is­tra­tive staffers still turn up for work and are in need of power and wa­ter sup­ply – both of which re­quire fuel to run the gen­er­a­tor set.

“With­out fuel, you can­not run the gen­er­a­tors to power the elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ances and the school wa­ter sup­ply sys­tem,” said the source.

The schools, added the source, are des­per­ately hoping for their sup­ply of diesel to be re­plen­ished to avoid a sim­i­lar in­ci­dent in 2017, when the new school ses­sion for 369 ru­ral schools were dis­rupted as there was no fuel for the gen­er­a­tors to power up fans, light­ing, com­put­ers and other ap­pli­ances.

These schools need an av­er­age of 5,000 litres of diesel each per month. How­ever, there are 10 larger schools that re­quire 15,000 litres each per month – di­vided into two de­liv­er­ies a month.

SMK Te­meng­gong Datuk Lawai Jau in Long San, up­per Baram has about 800 stu­dents while SMK Tu­toh Apoh is in Long Panai, cen­tral Baram. Both are lo­cated in the Te­lang Usan dis­trict.

The dis­trict ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer could not be con­tacted for com­ment on the is­sue, but The Bor­neo Post has learnt that a po­lice re­port has been lodged by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion in Pu­tra­jaya on the mat­ter two days ago for in­ves­ti­ga­tion to be car­ried out.

One of the af­fected schools in dark­ness af­ter its fuel sup­ply ran out.

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