La­gos float­ing school col­lapses in heavy rains

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

LA­GOS—A land­mark float­ing school that provided classes to chil­dren on a la­goon in Nige­ria’s big­gest city, La­gos, has col­lapsed dur­ing heavy rains, its head­teacher said on Thurs­day.

“The struc­ture col­lapsed at around 10:00 am (0900 GMT) on Tues­day fol­low­ing a rain­storm,” the school’s di­rec­tor, Noah Shemede, told AFP.

Shemede and the Am­s­ter­dam-based ar­chi­tects NLE said there were no ca­su­al­ties and that the float­ing school in the Makoko area of the city had been empty since March this year.

The head­teacher said 58 stu­dents who were us­ing the fa­cil­ity as an an­nexe had been re­lo­cated to the main school nearby be­cause of con­cerns from par­ents about the ef­fects of an­nual rains.

Ar­chi­tect Kunle Adeyemi said the building was a pro­to­type which had been used “in­ten­sively” over the last three years and a new building would be con­structed to re­place it.

“We are glad there were no ca­su­al­ties in what seemed like an abrupt col­lapse,” he said in a state­ment.

“The pro­to­type had served its pur­pose in time and we look for­ward to the re­con­struc­tion of the im­proved ver­sion

ABDULATEEF AL-MULHIM N 2003, the United States in­vaded Iraq, a coun­try about 7,000 miles from its shores. The rea­sons provided to jus­tify the in­va­sion were based on un­re­li­able re­ports claim­ing that Iraq was a threat to the se­cu­rity of the US, as it al­legedly pos­sessed weapons of mass de­struc­tion. Those re­ports also al­leged that the Iraqi regime had ties with Al-Qaeda.

Fol­low­ing the in­va­sion that re­sulted in the deaths of hun­dred of thou­sands of Iraqis and a large num­ber of US troops, all those re­ports proved to be con­cocted. The Iraqi regime had no con­nec­tion with Al-Qaeda and it had no weapons of mass de­struc­tion.

Dur­ing the last year, the world saw the United States amass­ing its naval forces in the South China Sea, which is thou­sands of miles away from the US. The US naval forces started pa­trolling ar­eas close to is­lands claimed by China in an op­er­a­tion called “Free­dom of Nav­i­ga­tion Op­er­a­tions” (FONOP).

Is­rael uses lethal weapons against un­armed and in­no­cent Pales­tini­ans when­ever Is­rael be­lieves that its bor­ders or peo­ple are un­der threat. The only threat it usu­ally faces is in the form of prim­i­tive rock­ets fired by Pales­tini­ans, which usu­ally don’t hit any tar­get and per­haps are not aimed at any tar­get in the first place but a way to ex­press their frus­tra­tion and anger over Is­raeli atroc­i­ties against Pales­tini­ans. What­ever the rea­son, Is­rael feels com­pelled

Ia­mongst other greater de­vel­op­ments of the com­mu­nity,” he said in a state­ment.

Makoko has been dubbed the “Venice of Africa” but com­par­isons be­tween the slum dwellings on stilts in the wa­ter and the his­toric Italian city end there. The award-win­ning school, a three-storey tri­an­gu­lar A-frame which floated on 250 empty plas­tic bar­rels fixed un­der a wooden base, was the tallest struc­ture in Makoko and had be­come a land­mark. It provided 200 square me­tres (2,370 square feet) of floor space and was also used for so­cial events in the des­per­ately poor and ne­glected fish­ing com­mu­nity.—AFP

Chil­dren at­tend school in the main site of a float­ing school, near to a col­lapsed three­storey an­nex in La­gos.

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